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Collective Intelligence

Panel Chair:

Hans Müller-Steinhagen
Rector, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany

The term “Collective Intelligence” emerges from collaboration and competition of multiple individuals in a system. It describes the intelligence of a group.
Focusing on the management of Planet Earth, this Panel will discuss and share its visionary views on the architecture of sustainable cities, on safety issues and early warning systems, and on the contribution of satellites for global resource monitoring. By obtaining data from this vast number of single nodes, e.g. traffic control systems, sensors in buildings and images from satellites, innovative concepts to simplify our daily life have to be developed.
Renowned experts from science and industry will outline the following issues:
• Visionary view on smart cities, e.g. infrastructural design and power supply to cope with ever increasing urban population
• Emerging safety issues with the supply of fundamental needs
• Remote sensing for resource and disaster monitoring, traffic management and its applications.


Date Time Location
Wednesday, 23 May 2012 14:00 – 16:00 Salon Rotterdam


Hans Müller-Steinhagen
Rector, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany


Jakob van Zyl
Associate Director of Project Formulation and Strategy and Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA, USA

Title: Application of Satellite Remote Sensing Data to the Monitoring of Global Resources
Abstract: With their global access, remote sensing satellites provide a unique vantage point for global monitoring of Earth resources. Several nations are moving toward acquiring long-term data records for use in operational decision making. This talk will discuss how satellite remote sensing can contribute to the monitoring of global resources. Example of current and future applications will be shown.


Alberto Moreira
Director Microwaves and Radar Institute, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Germany

Title: The Earth seen from Space by Radar Remote Sensing - a Vision for 2025
Abstract: In a changing and dynamic world, high-resolution and timely geospatial information with global access and coverage becomes increasingly important. Constellations of radar satellites will play a major role in this task, since spaceborne radar is the only sensor that has all-weather, day-and-night, high-resolution imaging capability. Examples of applications for such a constellation are environmental remote sensing, road traffic, hazard and disaster monitoring, geoscience and climate research, as well as reconnaissance and security related tasks. Long-term vision is a space based sensor web that provides a view of our planet like we are used to see with Google Earth, but with high-resolution images and relevant geospatial information being updated every few minutes.
This talk will first provide an overview about the current satellite radar systems and technologies. A prominent example of the state-of-the-art is the German satellite mission TanDEM-X, the first radar interferometer in space that employs two satellites operating in a closely controlled formation flight. The primary objective of TanDEM-X is the generation of the Earth’s topography with unprecedented accuracy as the basis for a wide range of commercial applications as well as for scientific research.
The second part of this talk will present a vision for spaceborne radar remote sensing. New technologies like multi-channel radar and digital beamforming in combination with large reflector antennas will allow the implementation of a constellation of radar satellites for reliable and systematic monitoring of the Earth’s surface. It will unlock the door to a future global remote sensing system for the continuous observation of dynamic processes over the Earth, as it currently exists for weather prediction, where a network of geostationary satellites is used.


Jürgen Häpp
Associate Partner, Foster + Partners, UK

Title: City Design for a Sustainable Future
Abstract: In the current discussion towards a sustainable future, cities have clearly emerged as an area to focus on. This is partly due to the fact that more than half of the world's population already live in urban areas, a figure that will rise in 2030 to about 70%, and secondly due to the fact that cities account for about 70% of global emissions.
Therefore it is the question of today, how cities and urban regions can be planned, built and maintained sustainably, while maintaining a high or even rising standard of living. A question that brings fundamentally new challenges for the planning process as well as the stakeholder involved in it.
The talk showcases examples of various projects by Foster + Partners and how such an integrated design and planning process can lead to more sustainable urban concepts, as well as how new planning tools, such as simulations of the micro climate or movement patterns of city residents, can support this process.
For over 40 years Foster + Partners has been working on a variety of groundbreaking and sustainable projects, including the rebuilding of the Reichstag building in Berlin and the Commerzbank headquarters in Frankfurt. One of the practice’s newest and most challenging projects is Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, a city that attempts to be one of the most sustainable cities in the world.
One of the main goals of the design for this environmentally-friendly city is to permit a high standard of living, whilst keeping the ecological footprint as low as possible. The design tries to learn vital lessons from century old, organically grown cities, such as high urban density or short walking distances within the social and cultural context as well as the local climate of the Arabian Peninsula. In that way the city tries to connect historic knowledge with the latest sustainable technologies to create a liveable city environment. An integrated design process in which all parameters can be tested in advance is fundamental in order to achieve this goal.


Kamal Sarabandi
Director Radiation Laboratory, University of Michigan, USA

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