SenseCityVity: Mobile Sensing, Urban Awareness, and Collective Action

SenseCityVity is a Switzerland-Mexico collaborative project between Idiap Research Institute and the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), and the National Center for Supercomputing of the Instituto Potosino de Investigacion Cientifica y Tecnologica (CNS-IPICYT), supported by EPFL's Cooperation and Development Center (CODEV).

Our goal is to engage citizens as factors of social change, through the use of mobile tech tools to improve the understanding of socio-urban problems in communities and cities.

SenseCityVity is developed by a group of specialists in information technologies, psychology, media, urbanism, and visual arts.

The project includes three phases:

SenseCityVity (2014)

In its first year, the project included three stages. First, teams of young students from CECYTEG (Center of Scientific and Technological Studies, a science and technology high school in Guanajuato City) collected and annotated multimedia urban data to document socio-urban problems collectively defined as relevant. Over 6000 geo-referenced images were produced through these experiences.

In the second stage, the collected data began to be analyzed by computer scientists in Switzerland and Mexico, using machine learning techniques to understand in principled ways how young observers perceive certain dimensions of their urban environment like security or cleanness.

Finally, students created mini-documentaries, which allowed for reflection and creation of proposals of solutions; these were presented in a local festival, organized to share the work and proposals of SenseCityVity's young participants

SenseCityVity+ (2015)

In the second year, the project significantly expanded its participatory approach to study multiple cities and more diverse populations taking part in mobile experiences. We worked with multigenerational teams of participants, each of whom contributed a more diverse view of urban concerns.

SenseCityVity (2016-2017)

Our activities are framed in the context of the Urbis project, supported by Mexico's national research agency. We continue to expand our work to several communities in Mexico in collaboration with other academics and organizations. Furthermore, we are collaborating with partners in Colombia to adapt the crowdsourcing platform to support Water Observatories.

Here is a video about the project. The soundtrack
is in Spanish. Please turn on the English subtitles