Research Project

DACAS is an ESRC funded Strategic Network.
It was part of the Urban Transformations (UT) program coordinated between 2015 and 2020 by Professor Michael Keith from the University of Oxford, showcasing research on cities. The UT portfolio included over 120 research projects that engaged with the challenges and opportunities of an increasingly urban world.

Despite increasing attention on the application of new information flows to the design and development of ‘smart’ cities, there is still limited understanding of the interconnections in urban areas between ‘hard’ infrastructure and economic, ecological and social systems. Strategic Network: Data and Cities as Complex Adaptive Systems (DACAS) seeks to promote a more holistic approach through the integration of a wide range of data sources.

By bringing together an international group of researchers from a range of different fields, the project supports the development of an innovative and cross-disciplinary set of tools to gather and interpret emerging data sources. These outputs will be supported by capacity development and dissemination activities, including a number of public events and multi-stakeholder workshops.

The findings benefit policy-makers, academics and other actors seeking to develop evidence-based responses to urban issues through the use of open data sources.

Project Details


Ulysses Sengupta, Deljana Iossifova, Rob Hyde, Eric Cheung

Project Start Date


Project End Date





Dr Nir Oren is a Senior Lecturer in Computing Science at the University of Aberdeen, Christopher Doll from the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability, Professor Alexandros Gasparatos from Sustainability Science at the University of Tokyo, Professor Roberto Kraenkel from the Institute for Theoretical Physics at the São Paulo State University (Brazil), Professor Deljana Iossifova from Architecture and Urban Studies at the University of Manchester, Dr Murilo da Silva Reader at the Institute for Complex Systems and Mathematical Biology (ICSMB) University of Aberdeen, Dr Panagiotis Angeloudis is Senior Lecturer and Director of the Transport Systems and Logistics Laboratory at the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Imperial College London, Professor Dan Graham from Statistical Modelling in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering Director of the Statistical Modelling and Economics Research group and Research Director of the Railway and Transport Strategy Centre within the Centre for Transport Studies at Imperial College London, Professor Jun Luo is of new urbanization and smart city research and development in China at Wuhan University and CABR/CBTGC, Professor Shidan Cheng of Wuhan University China

Research Outputs

Book Chapters

Ulysses, S., 2017. 'Complexityscience'. In Defining the Urban, pp. 249-265, Routledge.

Sengupta, U., 2017. 'ICT, Open Data and the Internet of Things: Potential future trajectories in urban planning'. In Yamu, C., Poplin, A., Dewisch, O., De Roo, G. (eds.) The Virtual and the Real in Planning and Urban Design: Perspectives, Practices and Applications, pp. 69-90, Routledge.

Journal Articles

Sengupta, U., Rauws, WS., de Roo, G., 2016. 'Planning and complexity: Engaging with temporal dynamics, uncertainty and complex adaptive systems', Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 43 (6), pp. 970-974.

Other Outputs

Sengupta, U., Iossifova, D., 2016. 'Smarter Data Use & Future City Models', Lecture at Gensler Los Angeles, USA.

Project Staff

Rob Hyde
Rob Hyde Senior Lecturer View profile
Professor Deljana Iossifova
Professor Deljana Iossifova Professor of Architecture and Urban Studies View profile
Professor Ulysses Sengupta
Professor Ulysses Sengupta Professor of Architecture and Urbanism View profile