Data is playing an increasingly vital role in defining urban living for businesses and residents. Resilience in cities is usually thought of in terms of resistance to crises, climate change and terrorism. Yet what architects and designers should be thinking about is a city’s latent capacity for development in a social, environmental and economical way. Planning and design for cities has failed to account for urban complexity and its viability and vitality. This is changing, as vast amounts of data can now be used in architecture and computational modeling to produce virtual design prototyping that accounts for urban richness and complexity.
A look at the technology sector in New York and how integrated data models point to this sector’s “swarming” behaviors in where they rent and why that matters, all based on definable / dimensional distance from specific amenities including public transport, hospitality, parks and such, as well as the measurable qualities of the urban grain characteristics of the areas they occupy. The models quantify the work/lifestyle aspirations—“how they think” in making these choices. This creates a model for a community in both space and “social” structure. This nexus between space and social systems can be reversed engineered to design complex spatial and socio-economic systems as the new basis for urban design.