Sense-City is a Facility of Excellence for ANR’s Future Investment Program, running throughout the period 2011-2019, and with a budget of 9 million euros. Initially led by'Université Paris-Est, this programme today involves IFSTTAR, ESIEE-CCIP, LPICM (UMR 7647 CNRS-Ecole Polytechnique), CSTB, INRIA and UPEM.

Sense-City is a climate chamber that can cover two 400m² areas. On each of these areas, a portion of territory is built on, called a Mini-City, equipped with many sensors to:

  • study the performance of facilities and urban materials
  • monitor the city of tomorrow by sending appropriate information
  • study air, water and soil pollution

Sense-city will also be used to move forward on the design, improvement and calibration of micro and nanosensors, and improve the chain from the sensor to decision-making.

The climatic chamber is used to programme specific weather conditions over fixed periods and repeat experiments as often as necessary. The programmed climate may be standard or extreme depending on the scientific needs expressed. In this way it is possible to programme heat waves, for example, over periods of several weeks to examine their effects on pollution, plant resistance and sensor calibration.

The climate chamber can be moved from one area to another as needed. This makes it possible to perform experiments in real instrumented conditions, in the open air or under controlled conditions, and also to build new mini-cities without interrupting all the experiments. The mini-cities are built according to the scientific and technological needs expressed. One of the two spaces has a basement to study network detection, geothermics and ground pollution. A mini-city is made to support a set of experiments over periods ranging from several days to several months depending on the needs expressed.

This facility is located in the heart of the Cité Descartes at Paris Est, and positions itself as a realistic demonstrator for urban innovation. It provides a much richer and more complex testing ground than conventional cleanrooms, and allows greater reproducibility and more control than the urban environment. As an R&D platform open to academics, industrialists and local authorities, Sense-City helps Cité Descartes to position itself as a flagship tertiary centre for the city of the future.

Areas of interest cover the energy performance of buildings and neighbourhoods, the sanitary quality of the environment (indoor air pollution), the quality and sustainability of urban networks (transport, fluids), the quality of outdoor air, soil and water, control of waste storage areas, infrastructure sustainability and security, and analysis of the performance of new materials for towns and cities.