Persuasive Cities | Kent Larson | TEDxBoston


Cities account for 70% of global emissions: how they are designed, constructed, managed, and powered will lock in behavior, lifestyles, and future urban greenhouse gas emissions. Using the
MIT-Kendall Square district of Cambridge as a case study, Kent Larson presents a series of urban interventions that could dramatically reduce emissions while simultaneously improving the residents’ quality of life and economic opportunities. If taken to scale in cities worldwide, these hyper-local solutions would help address the grand
challenges of our era.
Kent Larson directs the City Science (formerly Changing Places) group at the MIT Media Lab. His research focuses on developing urban interventions that enable more entrepreneurial, livable, high-performance districts in cities. To that end, his projects include advanced simulation and augmented reality for urban design, transformable micro-housing for millennials, mobility-on-demand systems that create alternatives to private automobiles, and Urban Living Lab deployments in Hamburg, Andorra, Taipei, and Boston.

Larson and researchers from his group received the “10-Year Impact Award” from UbiComp 2014. This is a “test of time” award for work that, with the benefit of hindsight, has had the greatest impact over the previous decade.

Larson practiced architecture for 15 years in New York City, with design work published in Architectural Record, Progressive Architecture, Global Architecture, The New York Times, A+U, and Architectural Digest. The New York Times Review of Books selected his book, Louis I. Kahn: Unbuilt Masterworks (2000) as one of that year’s ten best books in architecture. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at


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