Communications Archives - Page 2 of 7 - NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress

Solar Installation Dedicated in Brooklyn

The Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York City this week unveiled a project featuring 3,152 rooftop solar panels.

The installation was done by ConEdison Solutions, which will operate and maintain the panels. They will generate 1.1 million kWh of energy annually. The ConEdison Solutions press release says that the installation, which is on the roof of Building 293 of the yard, is one of the largest in the city.

City’s Biggest Buildings Slash Energy Use and Emissions

New energy report reveals great strides, but much room for improvement.

From 2010 to 2013, thousands of New York City’s biggest buildings slashed energy use by 6 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by 8 percent, according to the new NYC Energy and Water Use Report.

“Energy use has been going up in this country since Edison started delivering it to customers in New York,”Cecil Scheib of the Urban Green Council told the Daily News. The council co-authored the report along with the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and the NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress. “We have something that always got worse,” Scheib added, “and for the first time in a century it’s getting better, and that’s amazing.”

The data was collected under Local Laws 84 and 87, which require buildings over 50,000 square feet to conduct energy audits and measure their energy and water use. The laws cover nearly half of the city’s built square footage.

New York City Study Conclusion: Benchmarking Works

An important study on the impact of benchmarking on big apartment and office buildings in New York City offers proof of something that can benefit energy managers everywhere: Simply providing people with insight into their energy use tends to promote efficiency.

The study – which is posted in its entirety by Crain’s New York Business – was conducted by New York University’s Center for Urban Science Progress (CUSP) and Urban Green, which is the New York City chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council. It examines the impact of Local Law 84 (LL84), which was promulgated in 2009. The law mandated that buildings of 50,000 square feet or more annually report energy and water consumption. The performance of these buildings than can be compared.

Big-building owners required to report energy use reduced greenhouse gas emissions, report says

A law that requires the city’s biggest buildings to log and report their energy usage is paying off, officials said Wednesday. Thousands of structural behemoths in New York City have cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 8% and energy usage by 6% over a three-year period without necessarily making any upgrades.

“Clearly, building owners are responding to the information they are receiving on their utility usage,” said Department of Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler in a statement.

The information was contained in a report authored and released by the city and two nonprofits, Urban Green Council and New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress. Under the 2009 law, city- or privately owned buildings over 50,000 square feet are required to report their energy and water use annually. That adds up to about 15,000 properties. Although some of the reduction was likely due to energy retrofits or upgrades, experts said the overall numbers prove the law’s basic idea: owners will reduce their power consumption if they see how much energy they are using compared with other buildings of similar size.

NYC makes strides in reducing its greenhouse gas emissions

Although some would have the population believing otherwise, greenhouse gas emissions are a real issue. And while New York City, with its shipped-in food and barged-out trash, is no small contributor to that matter, the city is at least making strides to amend its contribution.

The mayor’s office, along with Urban Green Council and NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress, released a report today citing an eight percent decrease in greenhouse gas emissions from 3,000 of the city’s largest buildings between 2010 and 2013. In those same buildings, energy use decreased by six percent.

The initiative to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and energy use in buildings across the city is part of Mayor de Blasio’s OneNYC campaign, which seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in NYC by 80 percent from its 2005 levels by 2050.

The Future of The ‘Smart City’

Over 85 percent of the world’s population will live in a city by the end of the century. In a special broadcast, we’re exploring what the urban centers of the future will look like.

What are people working on in the Brooklyn tech world?

Last night in Bushwick some of the most interesting people in the Brooklyn tech world got together for a happy hour at CartoDB’s American headquarters. There were data scientist, social entrepreneurs, regular capitalist entrepreneurs and urban planners.

Assessment: Academic return

When Julia Lane began working in scientific-funding policy she was quickly taken aback by how unscientific the discipline was compared with the rigorous processes she was used to in the labour-economics sector, “It was a relatively weak and marginalized field,” says Lane, an economist at New York University.

In 2005, John Marburger, science adviser to then-President George W. Bush, felt much the same. He called on researchers and policymakers to focus on the “science of science policy”, an empirical assessment of outcomes and returns from funding agencies such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF). “When the Congressional Budget Office does simulations of the effects of investment in areas like tax or education policy, they have models and processes,” says Lane. “But he said that when it comes to science, essentially all we say is ‘send more money’.”

Around the same time, the UK government also began to explore how to significantly increase the economic impact of the country’s research and development (R&D) investments. According to Lane, such efforts have historically been a low priority, because R&D accounts for only a small percentage of the economy — typically less than 3% of the gross domestic product (GDP), mostly from the private sector. However, public funding of basic research still represents a considerable sum.

Can Big Data Resolve The Human Condition?

Back in the day, astronomers studied galaxies one at a time.

Data about each metropolis of stars had to be pieced together slowly. These individual studies were then combined so that a broader understanding of galaxies and their histories as a whole could slowly emerge.

Then, along came the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and everything changed. Using a special purpose telescope and computer-driven data collection, the Sloan Survey fire-hosed millions of objects onto the laps of astronomers. That was the beginning of “Big Data” in astronomy, and it changed the way we understood our place in the universe.

Now, a visionary group of scientists believes it can do for society what Sloan did for galaxies. Using the ever-increasing capacities of Big Data, the goal is to change the way we understand the human universe.

The Kavli HUMAN Project is a collaboration between the Kavli Foundation, the Institute for the Interdisciplinary Study of Decision Making at NYU, and the Center for Urban Science and Progress at NYU. It’s based on one simple goal — and an array of stunningly complex technologies required to get there. Here “HUMAN” stands for “Human Understanding Through Measurement and Analytics.” The project’s vision is to “generat[e] a truly comprehensive longitudinal dataset that capture[s] nearly all aspects of a representative human population’s biology, behavior, and environment.”

The signal and the noise

DONALD TRUMP, THE Republican front-runner for the American presidency, is clearly riding a wave of anger—but he is also wielding a huge virtual megaphone to spread his populist messages. “@realDonaldTrump”, the Twitter account of the property magnate turned politician, has more than 7m followers and the number is rising by about 50,000 every day. Moreover, since each of his tweets is re-tweeted thousands of times and often quoted in mainstream media, his real audience is much bigger. And if he does win the Republican nomination, it will be hard to tune him out. “How do you fight millions of dollars of fraudulent commercials pushing for crooked politicians?” he tweeted in early March. “I will be using Facebook & Twitter. Watch!”

If Ted Cruz, his fellow Republican, were to clinch the nomination, the campaign for America’s presidency would be quieter—but no less digital. Mr Cruz’s victory in the Iowa primaries was based on effective number-crunching. He bombarded potential supporters with highly targeted ads on Facebook, and used algorithms to label voters as “stoic traditionalists”, “temperamental conservatives” or “true believers” to give campaign volunteers something to go on. He also sent official-looking “shaming” letters to potential supporters who had previously abstained from voting. Under the headline “Voting Violation”, the letters reminded recipients of their failure to do their civic duty at the polls and compared their voting records with those of their neighbours.

The way these candidates are fighting their campaigns, each in his own way, is proof that politics as usual is no longer an option. The internet and the availability of huge piles of data on everyone and everything are transforming the democratic process, just as they are upending many industries. They are becoming a force in all kinds of things, from running election campaigns and organising protest movements to improving public policy and the delivery of services. This special report will argue that, as a result, the relationship between citizens and those who govern them is changing fundamentally.