The corporate smart-city rhetoric is about efficiency, predictability, and security. "You’ll get to work on time; no queue when you go shopping, and you are safe because of CCTV cameras around you". Well, all these things make a city acceptable, but they don’t make a city great. We have the technological solutions, but what’s the problem?

Goodcitylife.org is the research answer to that! It’s a global group of researchers and practitioners who think about fundamental urban problems that have received little attention and put forward ideas not to make cities smarter, but dwellers happier. Recently, for example, we have used social media data to map the sensorial and emotional layers of cities. Those layers will make a variety of applications possible - from urban planning to health informatics.


Happy Maps

Mapping apps help us find the fastest route to where we’re going. But what if we’d rather wander? Happy Maps that take into account not only the route you want to take, but how you want to feel along the way.

Smelly Maps

Think about your nose. Now think about big data. You probably didn’t realize it, but your nose is a big data machine. Smelly Maps analyses social media data to map the entire smellscape of cities, not only the bad odors but also the positive ones.

Chatty Maps

Urban sound has a huge influence over how we perceive places. Yet, city planning is concerned mainly with noise, however, to capture both unpleasant and pleasant sounds, Chatty Maps proposes a new methodology that relies on tagging information of georeferenced pictures to capture at scale the smellscape of a city.


This game will show you a urban scene and ask you where they are. It captures your mental map - that is, which parts of the city you tend to correctly recognize. By aggregating your answers, we are able to draw the collective mental map of the city.


Daniele Quercia
Nokia Bell Labs

Promiscuous cross-disciplinary scientist @BellLabs with few exes: ex-@UCL,-@MIT, -@Cambridge_Uni, -@YahooLabs.

Rossano Schifanella
Turin University

Interdisciplinary scientist @unito. #DataScience, #Networks, #MachineLearning, #Social Media, #Urban and #Maps enthusiast.

Luca Maria Aiello
Nokia Bell Labs

Social media and computational social science researcher @BellLabs.

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