Digital Cities (DC) emphasizes the development of fundamental skills in urban planning and policy including ethics, justice, and engagement; statistics, data science, and geospatial analysis and visualization; and computational thinking, simulation, and user experience.
This thread prepares you to build technology that serves the public good and to design and implement public interest technology or civic technology specialized for the urban environment. You will prepare to plan and build the cities of the future by immersing in the emerging intersections of computer science and urban planning.
In order to receive the NEET Digital Cities certificate from the School of Engineering, you need to complete the following requirements. You do not need to follow a strict sequence and will receive a certificate as long as you complete all subjects.
Two Foundation Subjects
11.001 Intro to Urban Design and Development, (12 units, HASS-H) L. Vale6.0001/6.0002 Intro to Programming (12 units, REST)
Three Project-based Subjects
11.007 Urban and Environmental Technology Implementation Lab (12 units) D. Hsu11.154 Big Data, Visualization, and Society (12 units, HASS-S) S. Williams11.138 Crowdsourced City: Civic Tech Prototyping (12 units, HASS-S) C. D'Ignazio
Suggested Electives (not required)
11.188 Urban Planning & Social Science Lab (12 units)6.009 Fundamentals of Programming (12 units)11.155J Data and Society (HASS-S, 12 units)11. 944. Applied Urban Analytics (12 units)11.S187 Applied Data Science for Cities (6 units)11.S01 Urban Science for Public Good – Gender and Racial Equity in AI (3 units)11.523 Spatial Database (6 units)11. 524 Spatial Statistics Workshop (6 units)
DC and Course 11-6
Course 11-6 majors may be able to count their NEET DC subjects toward their major requirements. 11-6 majors should meet with their major advisor to plan how NEET DC can work with their major.
DC and All Other Majors
Three of the required DC subjects will count toward your HASS GIR (11.001, 11.154, 11.138). 6.0001/6.0002, another DC requirement, counts as a REST, and also is required or a pre-req for many majors. Therefore, for many students, pursuing a certificate in DC will require only one extra class (11.007) and three 3-unit seminars beyond your major and GIR.
Your are welcome to contact ude.tim%40teen if you would like help working on a personalized roadmap for NEET DC.
DC Course Petition Process
If you have a project-based UROP, we may accept as a substitute for a NEET course. You will have to submit your UROP proposal to the urban science committee for approval. If you cannot take a subject due to course conflicts and won’t be able to swap with other subjects, you can make up the NEET requirement next year.
Urban Environmental Sensing
Create technology that has an impact on the MIT Community. This can be deploying environmental sensors in campus, or creating an app that makes your dormitory more connected.
11.007 Urban and Environmental Technology Implementation Lab, D. Hsu
Big Data, Visualization, and Society
Build advanced computational public interest technology as part of a complex real-world project that engages the public at large and involve multiple stakeholders, institutions, and communication mediums.
11.154 Big Data, Visualization, and Society, S. Williams
Social Media, Technology and Planning Processes
How do we develop (automated, crowdsourced, or manual) ways of auditing commemorative place names for gender and race equity in specific cities?
11.S196 Crowdsourced City: Civic Tech Prototyping Class, C. D'Ignazio
These are a series of 12-unit unrestricted elective classes that DC scholars take throughout the three-year program. All the classes are accompanied by seminars and talks hosting guest speakers from industry, academia and government addressing a variety of issues under the thread theme.
11.007 Urban and Environmental Technology Implementation Lab
Real-world clients and environmental problems form the basis of a project in which teams of students develop strategies for analysis and implementation of new sensor technology within cities. Working closely with a partner or client based on the MIT campus or in Cambridge, students assess the environmental problem, implement prototypes, and recommend promising solutions to the client for implementation. Equipment and working space provided.
11.154 Big Data, Visualization, and Society
Studies data visualization as a way for architects, planners and policy experts to communicate with the public. Develops technical skills to work with big data to answer or expose urban issues, which include cleaning and aggregating data in python, D3, and other web-based visualization software, and accessing APIs to download data. Students work with a big data set in a particular urban area and use the data to answer a policy question. Students taking graduate version complete additional assignments.
11.S196 Crowdsourced City: Civic Tech Prototyping Class
Investigates the use of social media and digital technologies for planning and advocacy by working with actual planning and advocacy organizations to develop, implement, and evaluate prototype digital tools. Students use the development of their digital tools as a way to investigate new media technologies that can be used for planning.
Prof. David Hsu
Founding Faculty LeadAssociate Director, NEET
Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Lecturer of Urban Science and Planning
Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Scholars Leadership Team
DC Student Council
Urban Studies and PlanningClass of 2023