Sustainable Urbanization

Towards Human-Centered Intelligent Cockpits for Automated Vehicles 

Designing Smart Services for Sustainable Urbanization with Fused Big-Data Visualization and Interaction Techniques (British Council)

This project was jointly funded by British Council (BC) and National Natural Sciences Found of China ) under the BC’s Researcher LINKs workshop grants.

This workshop was supported by a Researcher Links, grant, ID [2018-RLWK10-10100], under the Newton-China Fund partnership. The grant was funded by the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and National Natural Sciences Foundation of China (NSFC) and delivered by the British Council. For further information, please visit

Under the Researcher Links scheme offered within the Newton Fund, Northumbria University and the Institute of Software, Chinese Academy of Sciences (ISCAS), organised a workshop on the above theme in Beijing of China (the Institute of Software), on October 16-18, 2019. 

The workshop was coordinated by Professor Shengfeng Qin at Northumbria University and Professor Cuixia Ma at ISCAS. 

Smart services use design, data visualization and digital tools and promote urban innovation across sectors and communities by tackling intractable, complex, systemic service problems that lead to potentially transformative solutions to support wellbeing. They are in high demand due to rapid urbanization in China to meet sustainable challenges in healthcare, mobility/safety, energy and waste management.

The workshop has three topics:

(1) Integrating service design and big-data visualization and interaction techniques to map and develop urban driver safety issues, healthcare provision and energy consumption in urban Chinese contexts.

(2) Introducing a Design-as-Civics approach to develop sustainable solutions to reuse/recycle/reduce waste through makerspaces and hackspace for local commercial/business sectors.

(3) Helping vulnerable communities by services connecting the dots between, social innovation policy, critical design, sustainability, crafting the digital and third tier service supply and demand.

The workshop’s aims are:

(1) Exchange research and publication experience and outcomes of the participants from the UK and China around the three workshop topics.

(2) Design and develop smart service ideas in healthcare, safe driving, energy consumption, waste management in public spaces and helping vulnerable communities in cities.

(3) Exchange research collaboration experiences and establish new research links among design, ICT and sustainable development research fields.

(4) Develop research networking among early career researchers from the UK and China, aiming to improve their cross-cultural interaction and the quality of their research.

(5) Develop a framework of urban welfare service design, delivery and assessment methods, platforms and tools based on Big Data visualization and interaction and service design techniques.