COLOURING CITIES RESEARCH PROGRAMME 

 
 
 
 
 
 
The Colouring Cities research programme has been set up to facilitate collaboration between international research institutions interested in using our open code to advance research into sustainable and resilient urban building stocks.
 
As well as building on our code, Colouring Cities partners also work with us to share and test new approaches to building data generation, verification, dissemination and application, and to analysis and modelling. Our collective aim is to stimulate a rapid increase in the volume, detail, variety and quality of open spatial data available for cities, at building scale, in a way that supports research into stock composition, performance and dynamic behaviour, widens public participation, promotes citizen science and
high standards of data ethics, and advances sustainable city objectives as set out in the United Nations' New Urban Agenda.
The open data/open code approach also allows us to build a constructive, non-competitive space for researchers interested in openly sharing expertise and knowledge to support the development of Colouring Cities platforms, and to increase collaborative research into stock composition, performance and dynamics across cities and countries, for the collective good.
 
Research questions of particular interest include: What kinds of buildings make up cities' stocks - number, typology, age, use, size etc? How quickly is change occurring, what is being lost, what are predicted lifespans of age cohorts and is there capacity for these to expand and adapt in a sustainable way? How useful can Colouring Cities platforms be in tracking  performance, reducing energy and waste flows, targeting retrofit, and improving housing quality? Could longitudinal data, collected by platforms, be used to identify specific types of building form and urban tissue more vulnerable than others to demolition, and/or more likely to be associated with high levels of deprivation, poor health and mortality? Is there a correlation between building age diversity, adaptability of building form, citizen well-being and economic success? Do universal spatiotemporal 'rules' of dynamic behaviour exist for stocks, and if so could these be used in new types of simulation model, to more accurately forecast long-term impacts of proposed interventions and policies?
The first country to reproduce Colouring London's open code was Lebanon. In 2018 Coloring Beirut was set up by the The American University of Beirut's Urban Lab, working in collaboration with the National Center for Remote Sensing (CNRS) of the Conseil National de Recherche Scientifique (CNRS-Lebanon).
In early 2020 the University of Bahrain's Urban and Housing Lab began exploratory work on Colouring Bahrain, with a view to generating open data on the country's stock as a whole. Our partners in Bahrain and Lebanon are also working collaboratively to look at ways to support other research institutions in the Middle East wishing to develop Colouring City platforms.
 
We are also delighted to announce collaborations with The Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER) in Germany, on Colouring Dresden, and on  the automated extraction of spatiotemporal data on building stocks; with the Cities Future Research Centre at the University of New South Wales, on Colouring Sydney, and potential rollout for Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Perth, and with the School of Geographical and Earth Sciences at the University of Glasgow, on Colouring Glasgow and  programme rollout in the UK. 
Colouring Cities partners can be identified by our Colouring Cities logo. All Colouring Cities projects are also listed on this section of our site. 
 
Though our logo may only be used by Colouring Cities partners, core project partners, and funders, our open code can be freely forked from our Colouring London Github site by anyone, providing our terms of open use are followed. We will also be developing a Showcase section to enable submitted examples of applications of our code and data to be shared. In addition, work to improve links to open building geometries and addresses is planned. This will assist in the integration of collected open attribute data with OpenStreetMap to allow projects using our code, especially those without access to open national mapping footprints, to easily scale beyond individual city boundaries. 
We are currently in discussion with a number of research institutions interested in joining the Colouring Cities programme.  Please contact us if  you would like further information.

COLOURING

LONDON