This “Mobile Landscapes” research project, tested for the first time at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2004, and elaborated further by the researchers in Siena, experiments with an innovative technology for monitoring the variations of population density in real time, and observes its movements and dynamics in relation to the physical space of the city.

In particular, within this study, the researchers have tested tools that will allow for the understanding of not only how the city users utilize urban space, but most importantly with what frequency and intensity.

Instead of asking “how” the city space is utilized, this study aims to respond to the questions: “when”, “for how long”, and “how intensely”.

Promising outcomes were provided from a first application in Milan.

Milan downtown – sequence tot h24 x 7 days/week: the sequence shows areas with the highest intensity and variation in Saturday and Sunday with respect to workdays.

Milan downtown – sequence celebration on April the 25th in 2004: the sequence shows the path followed by celebrating people and the corresponding trace detected based on cell-phone activity.

Milan downtown – sequence on May the 2nd in 2004 at the stadium: the sequence shows the effect of the soccer match at the stadium, before, during and after the match. Since Milan won the Serie A championship that day, the explosion of enthusiasm after the match and the celebration in the square of the Duomo were clearly highlighted.

- Ratti C, Pulselli R M, Williams S, Frenchman D. Mobile Landscapes: using location data from cell_phones for urban analysis. Environment & Planning B: Planning and Design 33(5) 2006 727-748.
- Pulselli R M, Ratti C, Tiezzi E. City out of chaos: social patterns and organization in urban systems. International Journal of Ecodynamics 1(2) 2006 125-134.
- Pulselli R M, Pulselli F M, Ratti C, Tiezzi E. Dynamics and evolution of urban patterns: the evidence of the mobile landscape project. (Eds.) Tiezzi E, Brebbia C, Jorgensen S E, Almorza-Gomar D. ECOSUD – Ecosystems and Sustainable Development V. WITpress. Southampton, UK 2005 597-603.
- Pulselli R M, Ratti C. Mobile Landscapes. Equilibri 1 2005 147-155.
- Pulselli R M, Pulselli F M, Ratti C, Tiezzi E. Dissipative structures for understanding cities: resource flows and mobility patterns. (Eds.) Boussabaine A H, Lewis J, Kirkham R J, Jared G E M. BECON – Complexity and the Built Environment. Liverpool, UK 2005 271-279.
- Bastianoni S, Pulselli R M, Romano P, Pulselli F M. Dynamics and evolution of urban patterns: the evidence of the Mobile Landscapes project. (Ed.) Brebbia C A. Design & Nature IV- Comparing Design in Nature with Science and Engineering.. WITpress. Southampton, UK 2008 253-260.


The Mobile Landscapes Pescara-Chieti, funded by the Province of Pescara, has been developed by the Ecodynamics Group together with the SENSEable City Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA).

On the cover, there is an image by Harold Eugene Edgerton, “Child Running”, from 1939, that has been re-elaborated by digital graphics. The sequence of consecutive shots, which renders the movement of a boy running, is the result of a shooting technique that has become the inspiration for the study that we are presenting in these pages.

In fact, the researchers of the Ecodynamic Group, in collaboration with the MIT SENSEable City Lab, have experimented with an approach similar to that of Edgerton for studying the territory, attempting to represent, in a dynamic form, the activities, evolution, and life of urban systems.

Adriatic coast – h24 sequence in a workday in Spring and Summer: differential index of the variation in intensity of Summer activity with respect to data from the Spring. Note: a variation of -0.6 indicates that the data from the Summer decreased by 0.6 times with respect to the data from the Spring, and where there were 10000 people, 4000 are found; analogously, a variation equal to 0.9 indicates that the data from the Summer increased by 0.9 times, that is almost double the data from the Spring, and where there were 10000 people, 19000 are found.