Claudel, M. and Fazio, C. “A New Architecture for Place-Based Policy: Regulatory Experimentation in Urban Innovation Districts”

The paper “A New Architecture for Place-Based Policy: Regulatory Experimentation in Urban Innovation Districts” (Claudel, M. and Fazio, C.) will be presented at the 6th Florence Conference on the Regulation of Infrastructures (16 June 2017). 


The global urbanized condition exacerbates the challenges that cities face – air quality, transportation, energy production, housing – but it also brings tremendous opportunity for ‘urban innovation.’ New technologies, infrastructures and systems for the next generation of cities are being designed and researched, but sustainable integration has been impeded by the disparities between the development processes of regulation and technology. This paper articulates the problem of urban prototyping as it relates to regulation and the need to support urban experimentation that advances both. It proposes a dynamic policy architecture that can enable simultaneous regulatory and technology experimentation while addressing incentives, public safety, technology-transfer, and entrepreneurial cluster effects. We evaluate Boston’s Innovation District and City Hall as a case study in the course of our ongoing initiative to operationalize the framework in-practice.


Matthew Claudel is a designer, researcher and writer, focused on architecture, innovation science, technology and art. Matthew has been published widely, and co-authored two books: Open Source Architecture and The City of Tomorrow with Carlo Ratti. Matthew has given a Talk@ Google, taught at the Politecnico di Torino e Milano, lectured at the Harvard Business school, and was featured in the BBC Future series. He is a World Economic Forum ‘Global Shaper,’ serves as a part of the United Nations’ Digital Technologies for Sustainable Urbanization Network, and is an active protagonist of Hans Ulrich Obrist’s 89plus. Matthew is currently co-affiliated between the MIT Department of Urban Studies & Planning and the MIT Lab for Innovation Science & Policy for his PhD, and is on the leadership team of DesignX, a new initiative in the MIT School of Architecture + Planning that accelerates innovation for the built environment. He studied architecture at Yale, where he received the Sudler Prize, the highest award for creative arts.

Catherine Fazio is the Managing Director of the MIT Lab for Innovation Science and Policy at the MIT Innovation Initiative.  She directs the launch and strategy of this newly-formed research laboratory which studies the factors shaping innovation outcomes and investigates how to accelerate innovation in service to the world.  Catherine previously served as a partner at Kirkland & Ellis, LLP.  Among other activities, she formulated the strategy and directed operations for multiple, billion dollar arbitrations, served as lead antitrust counsel on a range of multi-national mergers and acquisitions, and counseled clients on risk mitigation strategies.  Catherine was also a trial attorney for the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, where she led several significant merger investigations and worked to preserve competition in numerous industries.  Catherine serves on the Board of the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture and the Development Committee for the Atrium School in Watertown, Massachusetts.  Catherine received a J.D. from Stanford University, an M.B.A. from the Sloan Fellows Program in Innovation and Global Leadership at MIT, and a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley.

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