On 25-27 September 2017, Lyon hosted the first ever Game IT workshop organised by the MIT Media Lab’s City Science Laboratory. The aim was to study the use of digital tools in the simulation of urban environments.

How the project began

Since January 2014, many meetings between Lyon and Boston have been organised with the aim of developing a bilateral collaboration on topics such as the economy, culture, entrepreneurship, life sciences, cleantech and digital sectors. This rapprochement between the two territories was born of the desire to support Lyon’s actors in their international development on the North American continent and especially in Boston, as well as to interest and attract talent from the vibrant and innovative ecosystem of Massachusetts to Lyon and its territory.

This collaboration helped to develop the international start-up acceleration program “BigBooster”, which facilitates the international development of start-ups that innovate in the fields of health, digital technology, environment and sustainable development.

It was at Booster Camp in Boston in February 2017 that the program’s start-ups were able to visit the MIT Media Lab. Then, in May 2017, a second meeting took place between the City Science and Lyon’s actors, including Aderly, to discuss the theme of urban modelling. The City Science Laboratory then decided to add Lyon to its list of European tour destinations, to enable its customers and partners to participate in a workshop to further improve the solutions developed.

3 days of fruitful exchanges

On 25 – 27 September 2017, Lyon hosted the City Science Laboratory’s first Game IT workshop at CPE LYON. The principles, methods, techniques, design, implementation and exploration of the Open Source-based model have been collectively studied and applied to urban planning issues. The first part of the workshop was devoted to a seminar presenting the City Science’s work at the MIT Media Lab, as well as that of various public and private actors in Lyon related to this theme: LabEx IMU, Erasmus, Métropole de Lyon, ForCity, Imaginove, ENSAL, etc. The second part was devoted to intensive technical work sessions on improving and optimising an urban mobility model.

These 3 days opened new avenues of exchange and collaboration between Lyon and Boston.

Future phases: to identify common issues facing Lyon and Boston and, with the participation of both cities’ scientific communities, to work on joint solutions; to evaluate the possibility of including the City Science in French or European collaborative projects (potentially working with the private sector); and to envisage addressing health issues together, by drawing on the synergy between  the    academic and scientific expertise of our two ecosystems. Finally, we are thinking about the growing involvement of the MIT Media Lab when BigBooster’s 3 goes to Boston in May 2018. It’s quite a programme!