Explore the future of urbanization as you learn about responsive Cities, ones that bring the city back to their citizens. This self-study course is not actively moderated. You can view the course for free, but questions will not be answered and there is no guarantee that the content will be available or updated.

Course Details

Language English
Duration 10 week
Effort 3 hours/week

Responsive cities define the future of urbanization. They evolve from smart cities, with a fundamental difference: The citizens move from the center of attention to the center of action. Responsive citizens use smart technology to contribute to planning, design and management of their cities.
Responsive cities are about bringing cities back to their citizens. Responsive cities change the way the technology of a smart city is used. The first Smart Cities were technology driven and they produced large amounts of data from fixed or centrally controlled sensors. But by now, the citizens and their mobile phones have taken the leading role in direct data generation. Rather than using data that are centrally collected and stored, you will see platforms on which the citizens place the data and the information they decide to share. With this, your own responsibility becomes a foundation of a Responsive City. Cities evolve from being smart to being responsive.
To demonstrate the potential of Responsive Cities, this course will define the concept of Citizen Design Science, a combination of Citizen Design, Citizen Science and Design Science. Experts, citizens and scientists participate in Citizen Design Science. This approach is still in an early stage of development, but with the Responsive Cities Massive Open Online Course, you will be ahead in exploring and defining its possibilities.
‘Responsive cities’ is the fourth edition of the ‘Future Cities’ series on urban MOOCs. The ‘Future Cities’ series is the first and complete series of urban courses dealing with the design, management and transformation of cities for their sustainable and resilient future. With every edition, the series becomes more interactive. It increasingly empowers citizens around the world to become part of the development of their own cities, especially in those places where this knowledge is needed most. Therefore, the course is inclusive for every individual interested in the planning, construction, redevelopment and management of future cities. The course is open to anyone regardless of background, skills, knowledge, or age.

What you will learn

What you'll learn

  • Identify the differences between Responsive Cities and Smart Cities

  • Understand the concept of Citizen Design Science and its importance for Responsive Cities

  • Learn and use the Qua-Kit online 3D modeller for a specific urban planning task

  • Improve livability, governance and city planning with Responsive Cities principles

  • Assess and develop the quality of urban public spaces based on data and information

Course instructors

Bige Tunçer

Bige Tunçer is an associate professor at Singapore University of Technology and Design. She leads the Informed Design Group, which focuses on data collection, information and knowledge modeling and visualization, for informed architectural and urban desig…

Estefania Tapias

Estefania Tapias is Postdoctoral fellow and Lecturer at the Chair of Information Architecture, ETH Zurich. Her research is focus on Information Cities and climate-sensitive urban planning. Estefania attained her doctoral degree at ETH Zurich and obtained …

Ina Homeier

Ina Homeier is an architect and has been working for the urban planning department of the City of Vienna since 1994. She was also responsible for land use and district planning (21st district) for several years. From 1998 to 2001 she worked at the Directo…

Kees Christiaanse

Kees Christiaanse is Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at the ETH Zürich. He studied architecture and urban planning at the TU Delft. From 1980 until 1989 he worked for the Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) in Rotterdam, becoming a partne…

Kevin Schawinski

Kevin Schawinski (born 1981) is Professor of galaxy and black hole astrophysics at ETH Zurich and the co-founder of the Galaxy Zoo online citizen science project, which has engaged over half a million people in scientific research. His research focuses on…

Lai Choo Malone-Lee

Dr. Lai Choo Malone-Lee is Director of the Centre for Sustainable Asian Cities (CSAC) at the School of Design and Environment, National University of Singapore. She is a researcher on urban issues, with specific interest in urban sustainability, particula…

Markus Schläpfer

Markus Schläpfer is currently leading the Urban Complexity project at the ETH Future Cities Lab in Singapore. After receiving his PhD from ETH Zurich in Mechanical Engineering, he conducted postdoctoral fellowships at MIT's Senseable City Lab and at the S…

Gerhard Schmitt

Gerhard Schmitt is Professor of Information Architecture at ETH Zurich, leader of the ETH Future Cities Laboratory Simulation Platform, Founding Director of the Singapore-ETH Centre in Singapore, and ETH Zurich Senior Vice President for ETH Global. His re…

Stephen Cairns

Stephen Cairns completed his undergraduate degree in anthropology and classical studies at the University of Otago. He trained in architecture at the University of Auckland, and practiced as an architect in New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific, designin…

ETH Zurich

Freedom and individual responsibility, entrepreneurial spirit and open-mindedness: ETH Zurich stands on a bedrock of true Swiss values. Our university for science and technology dates back to the year 1855, when the founders of modern-day Switzerland crea…

58 instructors