Big Data for Cities in Developing Countries

Monday, 11/20/17
316 Wurster Hall

Big Data for Cities in Developing Countries - Debunking the Myth & A Way Forward
Katja Schechtner 
Monday, November 20, 2-3 pm
316 Wurster

Wouldn't it be marvelous if we could use of Big Data tools to improve urban planning and management in developing countries? After all mobile phones are ubiquitous, satellite images let us explore every nook of our world and technology works the same everywhere  - or does it? The data, tech & developing economies discourse often focuses on the easy transferability and scalability of methods and tools. Bridging theory with hands-on experience, Katja Schechtner will discuss examples of Big Data & Big Tech projects that worked - or failed spectacularly - on a tour de force across cities from Vietnam to Pakistan, Argentina to Kenya and beyond. 


Katja Schechtner is an urbanist who currently holds a dual appointment between MIT and OECD to develop new technologies and shape innovative policies to keep cities on the move. 

Previously she worked at the Asian Development Bank implementing transport technology projects across Asia; designed smart public space strategies for the Inter-American Development Bank; advised the EU Commission on Smart City programs and ran an applied research lab for Dynamic Transportation Systems at the Austrian Institute of Technology. She also holds a Visiting Professorship at Technical University Vienna, Austria; publishes frequently about the intersection of technology and urban space; exhibits her work at international venues, e.g. the Venice Architecture Biennale and curates exhibitions e.g. at Ars Electronica, MAK, vivaManila or Seoul Biennale.

Katja is passionate about new ideas and technologies that help shape a better urban future - a future that is tailored to the unique local social-cultural practices and economic background of each individual city. 

As a global nomad with homes in Manila, Boston, Paris and Vienna she loves to engage with experts and the general public alike to discuss how we will be able to create cities that we love and places for everybody to thrive in.