Photo montage of city buildings in black-and-white, with a blue and red mockup building overlaid representing the virtual image that can be seen using AR technology, Outlines of two people using their phones to see the AR image appear at the building base.
Image courtesy inCitu

The Augmented City: Technologies for Civic Engagement

Have you stepped into the Metaverse yet? You may not need to as the Metaverse is coming to you. Emerging technologies such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) promise to untether the internet from our phones and computers and virtually layer it over the city itself. This offers us opportunities to access New York, and what it can be, in innovative—and more inclusive—ways. From virtually experiencing New Year’s Eve in Times Square to visualizing possibilities for a relocated Madison Square Garden, augmented reality provides new tools to help New Yorkers “see” and engage with a constantly changing urban landscape. Open House New York and the Jacobs Urban Tech Hub at Cornell Tech hosted a probing conversation about how AR and VR can be harnessed for good.

1 LU AIA CES credit pending.

Conversations on the City

Conversations on the City offers diverse perspectives on the issues that define contemporary New York. Organized around a broad theme or topic, each conversation shares the point of view that New York is dynamic and evolving. The series was launched at the onset of the pandemic amid a moment of uncertainty about the future of urban life, ultimately drawing together more than 10,000 New Yorkers. These conversations fostered collective engagement around ideas and innovations that help spur New York’s resilience and preeminence. Join us to continue the dialogue as we explore implications for the future of our city and our day-to-day lives.

Jacobs Urban Tech Hub

The Jacobs Urban Tech Hub at Cornell Tech aims to make cities stronger, fairer, and more resilient through responsible technology. Acting as a connector between academia, industry, communities, and government, the Jacobs Urban Tech Hub creates partnerships that identify urban challenges and opportunities, apply research to real-world problems, and inform that research with input from inhabitants about their needs.

Speaker Bios

Dana Chermesh-Reshef (Founder & CEO, inCitu) is an architect, a former F15 flight simulator trainer from the Israeli Air Force turned urban data scientist (NYU CUSP ’18). In 2020, Dana was selected to become an Entrepreneur-In-Residence at Schmidt Futures, the public benefit arm of Eric Schmidt, under which she founded inCitu: a startup on the mission to bring future cities to life via augmented reality to foster greater collaboration around the process of urban change. Prior to becoming an EIR Dana worked at the NYC Department of City Planning (DCP), her research on the feasibility of Tel-Aviv’s city center rezoning was published in “Haaretz” newspaper and she is a frequent lecturer on Smart Cities’ next frontier.

Christopher Sharples, AIA is a founding principal of SHoP. He is an advocate for new practices that advance sustainability, equity and inclusion with more than 30 years of industry leadership in design and master planning, working in complex urban contexts. Christopher has led many definitive SHoP projects, including Essex Crossing in New York, the recently completed Uber Headquarters in San Francisco, Uber Air in Los Angeles, the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and several U.S. Embassies through the Design Excellence contract with the State Department’s Bureau of Overseas Building Operations. His priority in SHoP tech development and process innovation is to accelerate workflow and elevate opportunities for efficiency, resilience and collaboration. In 2018 he cofounded Assembly OSM, delivering world-class architecture through an advanced process of digital design, manufacturing, assembly and onsite installation. He has taught, lectured, exhibited and been published frequently and internationally.

Greg Lindsay (Moderator) is an urbanist, futurist, and author. He is the 2022 Urban Tech Fellow at the Jacobs Urban Tech Hub at Cornell Tech in addition to holding a number of other fellowships, including positions at MIT, NewCities, and the Atlantic Council. He is studying the urban implications of widespread use of augmented reality technologies.