Commuters alight at Admiralty MTR station on August 19. Tracking human mobility and combining that data with epidemiological evidence can help cities pinpoint areas at risk of super-spreading events without having to shut down the entire city and its economy. Photo: Nora Tam Commuters alight at Admiralty MTR station on August 19. Tracking human mobility and combining that data with epidemiological evidence can help cities pinpoint areas at risk of super-spreading events without having to shut down the entire city and its economy. Photo: Nora Tam
Commuters alight at Admiralty MTR station on August 19. Tracking human mobility and combining that data with epidemiological evidence can help cities pinpoint areas at risk of super-spreading events without having to shut down the entire city and its economy. Photo: Nora Tam
Sun Sun Lim
Opinion

Opinion

Sun Sun Lim and Roland Bouffanais

How cities can avoid costly lockdowns with smart use of big data

  • Instead of locking down an entire city, officials can shut down or reconfigure specific locations with a high potential to trigger outbreaks by tapping big data
  • As lockdowns can be devastating for businesses, a robust, data-grounded approach can help governments justify tough decisions

Commuters alight at Admiralty MTR station on August 19. Tracking human mobility and combining that data with epidemiological evidence can help cities pinpoint areas at risk of super-spreading events without having to shut down the entire city and its economy. Photo: Nora Tam Commuters alight at Admiralty MTR station on August 19. Tracking human mobility and combining that data with epidemiological evidence can help cities pinpoint areas at risk of super-spreading events without having to shut down the entire city and its economy. Photo: Nora Tam
Commuters alight at Admiralty MTR station on August 19. Tracking human mobility and combining that data with epidemiological evidence can help cities pinpoint areas at risk of super-spreading events without having to shut down the entire city and its economy. Photo: Nora Tam
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Sun Sun Lim

Sun Sun Lim

Sun Sun Lim is Professor of Communication and Technology and Dean of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at the Singapore University of Technology and Design. She recently published Transcendent Parenting - Raising Children in the Digital Age and co-edited The Oxford Handbook of Mobile Communication and Society. She serves on the boards of the Social Science Research Council, Singapore Environment Council and Media Literacy Council as well as 11 international journals. From 2018-2020 she served as Nominated Member of the 13th Parliament of Singapore.

Roland Bouffanais

Roland Bouffanais

Roland Bouffanais is Associate Professor at the Singapore University of Technology and Design. His research focuses on the interdisciplinary intersections of complexity, network science, control theory, machine learning, and multi-agent systems. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers in top scientific journals and conference proceedings. He authored Design and Control of Swarm Dynamics. He received his PhD from EPFL (Lausanne, Switzerland) in computational science for which he was awarded the IBM Research Prize in Computational Sciences (2008), and the ERCOFTAC Da Vinci Award Silver Medal (2007).