Solar Cities



MIT Senseable City Laboratory, Boston

Project Website:


Temperate cities like Singapore or Hong Kong are well suited for expanded applications of solar energy. With developments in semi-transparent photovoltaic-cells, we may soon see glass building façades transformed into solar energy harvesters while simultaneously providing passive shading. This research proposes a model to assess the spatiotemporal variation in cities' solar potential more fully: from the roof-tops and facades down to the street-level.

Using 3D modelling techniques, I created this 3D visualisation for the website interface to convey the research's narrative. Visualising a full-year cycle of solar radiation in Hong Kong through a heatmap of the buildings reveals the consistent potential to utilise more aspects of the built environment for solar energy.


Carlo Ratti  Director
Rui Zhu  Lead Researcher
Paolo Santi  Scientific Advisor
Niklas Hagemann  Website & Visualisation
Tom Benson  3D Visualisation
Fábio Duarte  Design Manager