Urban Informatics Archives - NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress

Constantine Kontokosta Is On The Frontlines Of Using Data For Good In Cities

Constantine Kontokosta — Assistant Professor in Tandon’s Department of Civil and Urban Engineering and the NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP), the Director of the Urban Intelligence Lab, and the Deputy Director for Academics at CUSP — is using data analytics to advance the fundamental understanding of how cities work and how data-driven decision-making can improve city operations, policy, and planning.

Building on his recent National Science Foundation CAREER award and grants from the MacArthur Foundation and the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, he’s making a difference in New York City … and beyond.

Fall 2017 Prospective Student Webinar

NYCx Challenges

New York City has launched NYCx, a program that invites both local and global entrepreneurs, start up companies, and community organizations to use New York City as a testing ground for ideas and technologies that can positively impact all New Yorkers.

NYCx’s Challenge Program seeks creative technology solutions to address several targeted problems in urban life that include 1) how best to affordably deploy high-speed wireless connectivity, 2) ways to reduce litter and increase recycling rates, and 3) how best to support safe nighttime use of public spaces and increase use of neighborhood corridors.

For more information about these challenges and how you can submit proposals, please click here.

De Blasio Administration and Brownsville Community Leaders Announce NYCx Co-Lab Challenges in Brownsville

City invites tech community to propose and test new solutions to modernize public infrastructure, support neighborhood development, and bridge the digital divide

NEW YORK— Mayor Bill de Blasio, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, and Chief Technology Officer Miguel Gamiño, Jr. announced the launch of applications inviting startups, entrepreneurs and independent teams to propose tech solutions that address priority needs in the neighborhood of Brownsville, Brooklyn.

NYCx, the world’s first municipal program to transform urban spaces into hubs for tech collaboration, research, testing and development was announced last week and will utilize Moonshot and Co-Lab Challenges to engage the tech industry to solve real-world problems and help the City advance its goals to be the most fair, equitable and sustainable city in the world.

“Technology is an inescapable, critical part of our lives and the future of our communities,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Now, more than ever New York must take a leadership role in shaping a future that protects our values, strengthens inclusiveness and equity of our communities and presents a model of leadership for other cities around the world.”

“NYCx represents an important step forward in spurring economic development while addressing the critical needs of our neighborhoods,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen. “This program allows New Yorkers to benefit from the opportunities that come with advancements in the tech ecosystem and confirms that NYC is the global capital of innovation.”

“We’re proud of the work that we’ve done with community leaders to identify their needs and to develop the NYCx Co-Lab challenges,” said Miguel Gamiño, Jr., Chief Technology Officer “It’s been truly collaborative, and NYCx Co-Labs is an evolution of our efforts and will benefit all New Yorkers as we expand this program to all five boroughs.”

The NYCx Co-Labs are neighborhood-based partnership to co-design a set of challenges and make neighborhood spaces available for testing new technologies aiming to address the neighborhood’s more pressing needs.

In Brownsville, Brooklyn, community partners and local youth are advising the City on areas of opportunity where technologies can play a role in improving neighborhood quality of life and local economic development.

Challenge respondents have until December 15, 2017 to submit proposals for solutions. Winners will receive funding, access to urban infrastructure and support from City agencies to deploy solutions in Brownsville neighborhood spaces in 2018.

The first Co-Lab Challenge: Safe and Thriving Night Corridors was developed in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer (MOCTO), NYC Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ) and the the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) and calls for creative solutions to enhance public experience, encourage use of public spaces during evening hours, and increase night activity and community safety while boosting economic, civic and cultural opportunity for neighborhood residents. Selected proposals will receive up to $20,000 in funding to test solutions in the Belmont Avenue Business Corridor.

The second Co-Lab Challenge: Zero Waste in Shared Space was developed in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer (MOCTO), NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY) and the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and calls for creative solutions that increase resident participation in recycling and waste-reduction opportunities while reducing trash and litter in the common areas in public housing.  Selected proposals will receive up to $20,000 in funding to test solutions at Brownsville Houses, one of the larger public housing developments in the Brownsville.

The City also announced that the NYCx Co-Labs program will expand to all five boroughs in 2018.

Today’s announcement marks a milestone in the City’s tech equity efforts in Brownsville that started with the Neighborhood Innovation Labs, an initiative launched in March 2017 as part of the Brownsville Plan that brought together communities, government, educators, and technologists to research, develop and demonstrate solutions to improve quality of life and enhance city services. Neighborhood Innovation Labs are a public-private partnership led by the Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer, New York City Economic Development Corporation, and NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress. Brownsville Community Justice Center serves as the lead community partner for the City’s first Neighborhood Innovation Lab in Osborn Plaza.

(…)

“The NYCx Co-Lab in Brownsville creates an unprecedented opportunity for researchers to work directly with residents to understand and address problems most important to the community,” said Constantine E. Kontokosta, PhD, PE, Assistant Professor of Urban Informatics and Director of the Urban Intelligence Lab at NYU CUSP and NYU School of Engineering. “By building on the lessons from our Quantified Community research initiative, we hope to show how data can be used to help communities become empowered to take action based on rigorous, evidenced-based analysis of what civic technologies and urban innovations work best for them.”

 

Mayor Announces Dramatic Drop in Energy Use and Carbon Emissions in Large Buildings Citywide

Fifth benchmarking report shows that between 2010 and 2015, emissions from 4,200 consistently benchmarked properties dropped by 14 percent, energy use decreased 10 percent

NEW YORK––As part of Mayor de Blasio’s ambitious goals to create more energy efficient buildings and align the city’s emissions reduction goals with the Paris Climate Agreement, the Mayor in partnership with Urban Green Council and NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress released New York City’s Energy and Water Use 2014 & 2015 Report, a comprehensive analysis of energy and water usage of large buildings in New York City.

The analysis in the report finds that between 2010 and 2015 greenhouse gas emissions from 4,200 regularly benchmarked properties that missed no more than one benchmarking period, dropped by 14 percent, while energy use decreased 10 percent.

“This new analysis demonstrates that we can continue to achieve substantial reductions in emissions from the largest source in our city, our buildings, and keep New York City on-track toward our 80×50 target,” said Mayor de Blasio. “‎This sets the stage for even more dramatic reductions that will be achieved through mandatory retrofits for the largest, most polluting buildings across the five boroughs. When Trump pulled out of the Paris Agreement, we knew we had to accelerate our local climate actions, and that’s exactly what’s happening.‎”

The report was produced in partnership with Urban Green Council and NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress. It is part of a nearly decade long effort to better evaluate and manage energy use in buildings citywide, which contribute nearly 70 percent of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions. Seven years ago, as part of its efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, the City of New York launched an initiative to determine how much energy its largest buildings use. Since then, Local Law 84 of 2009 (LL84) requires owners and managers of buildings that occupy at least 50,000 square feet to report the amount of energy and water these buildings use each year. This information can be used to compare the buildings’ energy performance against that of similar buildings. This process of reporting and comparison, known as benchmarking, has since been adopted by many major cities, including Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and Chicago.

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“This year’s report represents another significant step forward in using data analytics to address the serious urban challenge of climate change,” said Constantine E. Kontokosta, PhD, PE, Professor of Urban Informatics at NYU CUSP and Tandon, Director of NYU’s Urban Intelligence Lab, and lead data scientist for the report. “New York City continues to lead on climate action, and data-driven, evidenced-based policies are necessary to achieve the Mayor’s ambitious goals to reduce the City’s carbon emissions and energy use.”

Structure of 311 service requests as a signature of urban location

While urban systems demonstrate high spatial heterogeneity, many urban planning, economic and political decisions heavily rely on a deep understanding of local neighborhood contexts. We show that the structure of 311 Service Requests enables one possible way of building a unique signature of the local urban context, thus being able to serve as a low-cost decision support tool for urban stakeholders. Considering examples of New York City, Boston and Chicago, we demonstrate how 311 Service Requests recorded and categorized by type in each neighborhood can be utilized to generate a meaningful classification of locations across the city, based on distinctive socioeconomic profiles. Moreover, the 311-based classification of urban neighborhoods can present sufficient information to model various socioeconomic features. Finally, we show that these characteristics are capable of predicting future trends in comparative local real estate prices. We demonstrate 311 Service Requests data can be used to monitor and predict socioeconomic performance of urban neighborhoods, allowing urban stakeholders to quantify the impacts of their interventions.

 

Click here to review this paper in full.

 

2017 Urban Science Intensive Capstone Presentations

On July 31st, the CUSP community came together for the 2017 Urban Science Intensive Capstone Presentations. NYU CUSP’s Urban Science Intensive (USI) Capstone program brings together student teams with government agencies or research partners to address real-world urban challenges through data. The USI Presentation event is the culmination of their four-month Capstone projects and marks the final presentation of the students’ work during their studies at CUSP.

During the event, the CUSP capstone teams gave presentations on many different pressing urban issues. Teams worked with a project sponsor to define the problem, collect and analyze data, visualize the results, and, finally, formulate and deliver a possible solution. The goal of each project was to create impactful, replicable, and actionable results that inform data-driven urban operations and a new understanding of city dynamics.

Learn more about all the projects presented and follow our coverage of the event on Storify here →

Urban Impact Series: Gov. Martin O’Malley, MetroLab Network

SONYC Is A NYC BigApps 2015 Finalist!

finalist-img-1024x422On November 11, BigApps NYC 2015 announced that CUSP’s researchers, Charlie Mydlarz and Justin Salamon have made it through to the competition’s finals. Their submission, the SONYC project has been selected as one of the finalists in the Connected Cities category.

The finals will take place on Wednesday, December 2nd at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). The SONYC project team will have the opportunity to pitch their project to a panel of judges, as well as have time for Q&As and demos. Be sure to come by to support the team!

For more information about the SONYC project, please visit their website.

Constantine Kontokosta and Christopher Tull Win Best Paper Award At D4GX 2015

D4GX Mini

On September 28, the NYC Media Lab – Bloomberg Data for Good Exchange (D4GX) awarded First Prize Paper to both Constantine Kontokosta, CUSP’s Deputy Director of Academics & Assistant Professor, and Christopher Tull, a student and Research Assistant at CUSP. D4GX’s evaluation team was impressed by their developed use of NYC open data and online mapping tools that culminated in their paper, “Web-Based Visualization and Prediction of Urban Energy Use from Building Benchmarking Data”.

The researchers were also granted an opportunity to speak on Wednesday September 30, at the Stata+Hadoop World conference Solution Showcase, one of the largest data science conferences to convene this year.

The Data for Good Exchange is part of Bloomberg’s advocacy initiatives, which uses data science and human capital to examine and find solutions for society’s core issues.

Download Paper

What’s the Big Deal With Big Data?

On Manhattan’s West Side, construction crews are erecting Hudson Yards, a massive $20 billion office, retail and residential complex that’s the biggest real estate development in New York City since Rockefeller Center in the 1930s. But the project is remarkable not just because of its five office towers and 5,000 residences, but because it’s the first large-scale city neighborhood in the world that’s being designed to collect Big Data—that is, enormous sets of information—and utilize it to tinker with the quality of everyday life.

When the complex is completed in a few years, a vast number of sensors embedded both indoors and outdoors continuously will collect data on everything from energy and water use and how much garbage and carbon dioxide residents generate, to the precise ebb and flow of pedestrian traffic and public transportation usage. All that data will flow into the Internet cloud, where the complex’s management will be able to monitor and analyze it in the search for cost savings and ways to make things operate more smoothly. But that’s not all. Eventually, residents may be offered a chance to “opt-in” and use their smart phones to provide even more data about themselves, in exchange for being able to use the cloud themselves for things such as guidance on where to hail a taxi.

Privacy, Big Data, and the Public Good reviewed in Science

Earlier this year, CUSP, along with the American Statistical Association and its Privacy and Confidentiality subcommittee and the Research Data Centre of the German Federal Employment Agency, sponsored a book about the rise of big data and the privacy issues that brings up. The book, Privacy, Big Data, and the Public Good: Frameworks for Engagement, published by Cambridge University Press and launched on July 16 at the New York Academy of Sciences, is an accessible summary of the important legal, economic, and statistical thinking that frames the many privacy issues associated with the use of big data – along with practical suggestions for protecting privacy and confidentiality that can help to guide practitioners.

On November 25, Privacy, Big Data, and the Public Good: Frameworks for Engagement was reviewed by Science Magazine, which said the book “presents a collection of essays from a variety of perspectives, in chapters by some of the heavy hitters in the privacy debate, who make a convincing case that the current framework for dealing with consumer privacy does not adequately address issues posed by big data.”

The full review is available on Science Magazine’s website.

Claudio Silva receives IEEE’s 2014 Visualization Technical Achievement Award

Claudio Silva

On November 11, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) presented its 2014 Visualization and Technical Achievement Award to Claudio T. Silva, Head of Disciplines at CUSP and professor of Computer Science and Engineering at NYU’s Polytechnic School of Engineering.

The award, one of the highest honors given by the IEEE Computer Science Society’s Technical Committee on Visualization and Graphics (VGTC), recognizes Silva’s seminal advances to geometric computing for visualization and contributions to the development of the VisTrails data exploration system. The committee also cited Silva’s participation in various multidisciplinary projects.

VisTrails systematically maintains provenance for the data exploration process by capturing all the steps researchers follow in the course of an experiment—much like document-tracking applications in Microsoft Word and Google Docs track changes to a document. Tracking provenance is essential because that information allows a researcher to accurately reproduce his or her own results or the results of others, even if they involve hundreds of parameters and complex data sets.

“Consider that when a researcher is engaged in an exploratory process, working with simulations, data analysis, and visualization, for example, very little is repeated during the analysis process; change is the norm, and new workflows are constantly being generated,” Silva explained. “VisTrails manages these rapidly evolving workflows. To make a simple analogy, using it is like having someone in the lab watching over your shoulder and taking concise notes.”

“Clauio Silva has blazed a trail of innovation in visualization that has strongly influenced many researchers, including myself,” said Amitabh Varshney, director of the IEEE Visualization and Graphics Technical Committee and a professor of computer science and the director of the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies at the University of Maryland. “One of the reasons his work has had such a significant impact is because it combines elegant foundational research with real-world applications. This award is a well-deserved recognition of Claudio’s illustrious accomplishments and stunning impact.”

2014 AT&T Transit Tech Developer Day at CUSP

November 22, 2014 – November 22, 2014

2 MetroTech Center

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Description:

The 2014 AT&T Transit Tech Developer Day App is an opportunity to launch the development of your 2014 MTA App Quest entry. This day will allow you to:

  1. Hear from MTA experts about this year’s App Quest and the new datasets and API released for 2014.
  2. Work on the early stage of your concept with access to industry and data experts.
  3. Sign up for in-person or virtual mentoring sessions with experts from the MTA and its partners, including AT&T and New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP).
  4. Build your team or join a team through a Teammate Match session.

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Event Program:

Time Activity Location
8:30 AM Doors Open for Check-In/Registration  
Breakfast Available Pantry
9:00 AM Announcements Lecture Hall
9:05 AM Event Kickoff and Welcome Lecture Hall
9:12 AM About 2014 MTA AT&T App Quest Lecture Hall
9:30 AM Highlight:  New Datasets and GTFS Lecture Hall
9:50 AM Highlight:  Accessibility Track Lecture Hall
10:10 AM Highlight:  Beacon Q&A Lecture Hall
10:20 AM Overview:  Prizes Lecture Hall
10:25 AM Teammate Match (note:  teams may also start work) Lecture Hall
11:00 AM All teams at work Town Hall East
& West
12:00 PM LUNCH & Presentation Schedule Signups Pantry
1:00 PM Office Hours Open

  • MTA Team (Room 820)
  • Prof. Kaan Ozbay, NYU (Room 810)
  • Alex Muro, Lead Developer, AVAIL (Albany Visualization And Informatics Lab, University of Albany, SUNY (Room 818, by Skype)
  • Richard Murby, Developer Evangelist, ChallengePost (Room 827)
Rooms 810, 818, 820, 827
TBA CONCEPT PITCHES Lecture Hall
5:15 PM Winners Announced Lecture Hall

Register

NYU CUSP Unveils First-of-its-Kind ‘Urban Observatory’ in Downtown Brooklyn

New York University’s Center for Urban Science & Progress (CUSP) today unveiled its Urban Observatory, a project that will persistently observe and analyze New York City in an effort to better understand the “pulse of the city” in various states, such as mobility, energy use, communications and economics. The data gathered from the Urban Observatory will ultimately be used to improve various aspects of urban life, including energy efficiency, detecting releases of hazardous material, tracking pollution plumes, aiding in post-blackout restoration of electrical power, and more.

“This technology comes at an opportune time when about 80% of the U.S. population and 50% of the global population live in cities, said Dr. Steven Koonin, NYU CUSP’s founding director. “We’ll take these large data sets and turn them into solutions for city-wide problems, helping us to better understand our urban environment and improve the quality of life for citizens around the world.”

The CUSP Urban Observatory, which is still in its demonstration phase, uses an 8 megapixel camera situated atop a building in Downtown Brooklyn to quantify the dynamics of New York City by capturing one panoramic, long-distance image of Lower and Midtown Manhattan every 10 seconds. These observations differ from those of a satellite due to the fixed urban vantage point, which offer an unchanging perspective, with easy and low cost operations. Techniques adapted from astronomy are used to analyze the images.

Strict protocols have been observed to protect the privacy of those individuals in the field of view – no more than a few pixels cover the closest sources in the scene and images are significantly blurred to ensure that no personal detail is ever captured. Additionally, all analyses have been performed at the aggregate level and any human inspection has been done without the knowledge of the precise location of the source.

CUSP’s Urban Observatory seeks high impact science and applications to enhance public well-being, city operations, and future urban design and combines correlative data including administrative records, original measurements, and current topography. Although the technology is currently being used to solely observe New York City, CUSP hopes to share this with other major cities, such as London, Chicago, and Hong Kong, for similar use and application.

A team of CUSP scientists have been working on this technology for almost two years. Data will be made available for analysis by CUSP personnel and others by proposal.

The upper panel shows a single snapshot of Midtown and the Lower East Side of Manhattan at roughly 11:00AM.  Although difficult to see with the naked eye, the image contains two exhaust plumes generated by one of the buildings in the scene.  The processed image in the bottom panel removes the objects which are constant (like buildings) and keeps only objects which are moving (like the plumes).  With this technique, the Urban Observatory's data processing algorithms are able to extract the location of the faint emission plumes.
The upper panel shows a single snapshot of Midtown and the Lower East Side of Manhattan at roughly 11:00AM. Although difficult to see with the naked eye, the image contains two exhaust plumes generated by one of the buildings in the scene. The processed image in the bottom panel removes the objects which are constant (like buildings) and keeps only objects which are moving (like the plumes). With this technique, the Urban Observatory’s data processing algorithms are able to extract the location of the faint emission plumes.

 

About New York University’s Center for Urban Science & Progress

CUSP is an applied science research institute created by New York University with a consortium of world-class universities and the foremost international technology companies to address the needs of cities. At the heart of its academic program, CUSP will investigate and develop solutions to the challenges that face cities around the world.  This research will make CUSP the world’s leading authority in the emerging field of “urban informatics”.  For more news and information on CUSP, please visit http://cusp.nyu.edu/.

 

Contact
Kim Alfred, CUSP
917.392.0859
kim.alfred@nyu.edu

Megan Romano, The Marino Organization
212.889.0808
megan@themarino.org

 

CUSP Research Seminar Series: Dr. Aaditya Rangan

October 29, 2014 – October 29, 2014

1 MetroTech Center

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Description:

A common problem in data analysis – including machine learning and genomics – is to detect, within a large array, small submatrices which are ‘structured’ in some way.Such submatrices, called ‘biclusters’ can represent a subset of features shared across a subset of images, or a subsets of genes that are coexpressed across a subset of the patient population. In this talk I will discuss some of the challenges associated with biclustering, and provide an algorithm that overcomes most of these challenges.

Bio

Dr. Aaditya V Rangan is an Assistant Professor at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, NYU. He received his PhD in Mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley. His research interests lie in large – scale scientific modeling of physical, biological and neurobiological phenomena and the development of efficient numerical methods and related analysis.

Register

AAAI 2015 Workshop on AI for Cities

Almost half of humanity today lives in urban environments and that number will grow to 80% or more by the middle of this century in different parts of the world. Cities are thus the loci of resource consumption, economic activity, social interactions, and education and innovation; they are the cause of our looming sustainability problems but also where those problems must be solved. Cities are also an enormous forum for policy making, as well as an apparently unbounded source of digital data of a wide nature. Artificial Intelligence has the potential to play a central role in tackling the underlying hard computational, decision making, and statistical problems of cities.

With this in mind, CUSP has proposed a worskshop to bring together AI researchers who work on urban informatics and domain experts from city agencies in order to: i) identify and characterize the prototypical AI problems that cities face, ii) discuss data access, open platforms, and dissemination of information, iii) present recent research in this nascent subfield, and iv) strengthen the path from research to decision and policy making. The workshop will be held on January 25-26, 2015, in Austin, Texas.

Topics include

  • Spatiotemporal inference of urban processes (social or natural)
  • Energy consumption/disaggregation models of large urban areas
  • Planning/Scheduling for city operations
  • Decision making for urban science and for city policy
  • AI models of transportation and utilities networks
  • Resource allocation in urban systems
  • Event detection of urban activity and processes
  • Active learning, sampling biases and dataset shift in city data
  • Multi-agent simulations of urban processes
  • Visualization and city operational systems
  • Cross-city comparative analysis
  • Improving public health systems in cities
  • Crowdsourcing for urban science and decision making
  • Open data platforms and data access tools for data science

Preliminary Agenda

09:00 – 09:10  -  Introduction and opening remarks
09:10 – 09:40  -  Invited talk – Juliana Freire, NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering
09:40 – 10:10  -  Invited talk – Autonomous Machines and Robots in Cities – Manuela Veloso, CMU
10:10 – 10:30  -  Coffee Break
10:30 – 11:00  - Invited talk – Adi Botea, IBM
11:00 – 11:30  -  Invited talk – Craig Knoblock, USC
11:30 – 12:30  -  Lunch Break
12:30 – 01:00  -  Invited Talk – Mike Flowers, NYU CUSP
01:00 – 03:00  -  Paper Presentations
03:00 – 03:30  -  Data access – city data portals, initiatives, and restrictions
03:30 – 04:00  -  Coffee Break
04:00 – 04:30  -  Data access – city data portals, initiatives, and restrictions
04:30 – 05:00  -  Open discussion and concluding remarks
05:00 – 06:00  -  Social event

Submission Requirements

Papers must be formatted in AAAI two-column, camera-ready style. Regular research papers (submitted and final), presenting a significant contribution, may be no longer than 7 pages, with page 7 including only references. Short papers (submitted and final), describing a position on the topic of the workshop or a demonstration/tool, may be no longer than 4 pages, including references.

CUSP is offering two awards of up to $1,000 each in travel reimbursements for students who are lead authors on papers contributed to the workshop.

Submissions are to be made online at https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=ai4cities. We request that interested authors log in and submit abstracts as an expression of interest before the final deadline.

Important Dates

11/09/2014  -  Paper Submission deadline
11/14/2014  -  Notification of decisions
11/25/2014  -  Camera-ready due

Organizing Committee

Theo Damoulasdamoulas@nyu.edu
Research Assistant Professor, New York University, Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP)
Brooklyn, USA

Biplav Srivastavasbiplav@in.ibm.com
Senior Researcher, IBM Master Inventor, IBM Research
New Delhi, India

Sheila McIraithsheila@cs.toronto.edu
Professor of Computer Science, Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto
Toronto, Canada

Freddy Lecuefreddy.lecue@ie.ibm.com
Research Scientist, IBM Research, Smarter Cities Technology Center
Dublin, Ireland

Program Committee

Sarah Bird (Microsoft Research, USA)
Alex Chohlas-Wood (NYPD, USA)
Philippe Cudre-Mauroux (University of Fribourg, CH)
Mathieu d’Aquin (Open University, UK)
Bistra Dilkina (Georgia Tech, USA)
Greg Dobler (NYU CUSP, USA)
Harish Doraiswamy (NYU, USA)
Stefano Ermon (Stanford University, USA)
Maurizio Filippone (University of Glasgow, UK)
Rebecca Hutchinson (Oregon State University, USA)
Rishee Jain (Stanford, USA)
Nikos Karampatziakis (Microsoft, USA)
Liakata Maria (University of Warwick, UK)
Charlie Mydlarz (NYU CUSP, USA)
Temitope O Omitola (University of Southampton, UK)
Jeff Pan (Univ. of Aberdeen, UK)
Kostas Pelechrinis (University of Pittsburgh, USA)
Alessandro Perina (Italian Institute of Technology, ITA)
Justin Salamon (NYU CUSP, USA)
Daniel Sheldon (UMass Amherst, USA))
Vasilis Syrgkanis (Microsoft Research, USA)
Ravi Shroff (NYU CUSP, USA)
Vasileios Stathopoulos (UCL, UK)
Huy T. Vo (NYU CUSP, USA)
Yuxiang Wang (Carnegie Mellon University, USA)
Hong Yang (NYU CUSP, USA)
Arkaitz Zubiaga (University of Warwick, UK)

Related Work

Workshop on Semantics for Smarter Cities
In conjunction with 13th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC 2014)
Payam Barnaghi, Jan Holler, Biplav Srivastava, John Davies, John Breslin, and Tope Omitola
Riva del Garda, Italy – 20 October, 2014

Workshop on Semantic Cities
In conjunction with Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence conference (AAAI-14)
Mark Fox, Freddy Lecue, Sheila McIlraith, Biplav Srivastava and Rosario Usceda-Sosa
Québec City, Québec, Canada – July 27-31, 2014

Workshop on Inclusive Web Programming – Programming on the Web with Open Data for Societal Applications
In conjunction with 36th International Conference on Software Engineering
Biplav Srivastava and Neeta Verma
Hyderabad, India – May 31-June 4, 2014

Workshop on Semantic Cities
In conjunction with International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-13)
Freddy Lecue Biplav Srivastava, and Ziaqing Nie
Beijing, China – Aug 3-5, 2013

The Semantic Smart City Workshop (SemCity-13)
In conjunction with International Conference on Web Intelligence, Mining and Semantics (WIMS-13)
Tope Omitola, John Breslin, Biplav Srivastava, and John Davies
Madrid, Spain – June 12-14, 2013

Workshop on Semantic Cities
In conjunction with 26th Conference of Association for Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-12)
Biplav Srivastava, Freddy Lecue, and Anupam Joshi
Toronto, Canada – July 22-26, 2012

AI for an Intelligent Planet
In conjunction with 22nd International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-11)
Biplav Srivastava, Carla Gomes, and Anand Ranganathan
Barcelona, Spain – July 16-22, 2011

Paul Glimcher

Beyond The Quantified Self: The World’s Largest Quantified Community

So-called “smart” cities and communities are sprouting around the world, from the urban laboratory that is the Spanish port city of Santander to a huge residential energy research project that has been running for years in Austin, Texas.

Now a new “quantified community” built from scratch is about to take shape, and it’s on the biggest stage yet: The Hudson Yards, the largest private real estate project ever in the United States, which is slated for construction on Manhattan’s underdeveloped West Side beginning this year.

Hudson Yards to become first ‘quantified community’

New York University is teaming up with the developers of the Hudson Yards in the hopes big data collected from the future 28-acre complex will help it run more efficiently and make it a better place to live and work.

New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress announced Monday that the mixed-use neighborhood being built over a Long Island Railroad yard on the far West Side of Manhattan will be the first “quantified community” in the entire country, meaning the university, in concert with Related Cos. and Oxford Properties Group, will collect information on pedestrian traffic, air quality, energy production and consumption and even the health and activity levels of workers and residents.

NYU CUSP, Related Companies, and Oxford Properties Group Team Up to Create “First Quantified Community” in the United States at Hudson Yards

New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) today announced that it will partner with Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group to create the nation’s first “Quantified Community” – a fully-instrumented urban neighborhood that will measure and analyze key physical and environmental attributes at Hudson Yards.

This “Quantified Community” will create an interactive, data-driven experience for tenants and owners of the 28 acre mixed-use development now being built on Manhattan’s West Side. In line with the development’s overall aim of improving operational efficiencies, productivity, and quality of life, CUSP will use the data to help New York City – and, ultimately, cities across the world – become more productive, livable, equitable, and resilient. Related and Oxford will use the data to continually improve the worker, resident, and visitor experience, while also making the neighborhood more efficient.

CUSP and Related/Oxford are still developing the final list of attributes that will be measured in Hudson Yards, but examples include:

  • Measuring, modeling, and predicting pedestrian flows through traffic and transit points, open spaces, and retail space.
  • Gauging air quality both within buildings and across the open spaces and surrounding areas.
  • Measuring health and activity levels of residents and workers using a custom-designed, opt-in mobile application.
  • Measuring and benchmarking solid waste with particular focus on increasing the recovery of recyclables and organic (i.e. food) waste.
  • Measuring and modeling of energy production and usage throughout the project, including optimization of on-site cogeneration plant and thermal microgrid.

Dr. Constantine Kontokosta, PE, Deputy Director & Head of the Quantified Community initiative at CUSP said, “The Quantified Community will create a unique experimental environment that provides a testing ground for new physical and informatics technologies and analytics capabilities, which will allow for unprecedented studies in urban engineering, urban systems operation, and planning, and the social sciences. Given the scale and significance of Hudson Yards, we believe that our partnership with Related will help to create a model for future sustainable, data-driven urban development.”

Jay Cross, President of Related Hudson Yards said,The ability to conceive of and develop an entirely new neighborhood creates tremendous opportunities. Hudson Yards will be the most connected, measured, and technologically advanced digital district in the nation. Our cutting-edge commercial tenants are drawn to Hudson Yards for its state-of-the-art infrastructure featuring unprecedented wired, wireless, broadband, and satellite connectivity; and energy optimization through on-site power generation and central waste systems. Through our partnership with CUSP we will harness big data to continually innovate, optimize and enhance the employee, resident, and visitor experience.”

Dr. Steven Koonin, Director of CUSP said, “This partnership between Hudson Yards and CUSP is successful because Related and Oxford understand the importance of sensor-enriched environments in creating the most efficient and livable cities of the future. CUSP aims to be a leader and innovator in the emerging field of ‘Urban Informatics’ – the observation, analysis, and modeling of cities – and our first Quantified Community at Hudson Yards is a great step toward this goal. CUSP is extremely grateful for this partnership and we look forward to working with them as this project continues to take shape.”

 

About New York University’s Center for Urban Science & Progress
CUSP is an applied science research institute created by New York University with a consortium of world-class universities and the foremost international technology companies to address the needs of cities. At the heart of its academic program, CUSP will investigate and develop solutions to the challenges that face cities around the world.  This research will make CUSP the world’s leading authority in the emerging field of “urban informatics”.  For more news and information on CUSP, please visit http://cusp.nyu.edu/.

 

About Hudson Yards

Hudson Yards, developed by Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group, is the largest private real estate development in the nation’s history and the largest development in New York City since Rockefeller Center. Hudson Yards will be a hub of connectivity, community, culture, and creativity. It is anticipated that more than 24 million people will visit Hudson Yards every year. The site itself will include 17 million square feet of commercial and residential space, more than 100 shops and restaurants, approximately 5,000 residences, Culture Shed, 14-acres of public open space, a new 750-seat public school and a 150-room luxury hotel – all offering unparalleled amenities for residents, employees, and guests. The development of Hudson Yards will create more than 23,000 construction jobs, and when completed in 2024, more than 40,000 people a day will either work in or call Hudson Yards their home. For more information on Hudson Yards please visit http://www.hudsonyardsnewyork.com/

 

Media Contacts:

Kim Alfred, CUSP - 917.392.0859

kim.alfred@nyu.edu

Joanna Rose, Related Companies - 212.801.3902

jrose@related.com

Elizabeth Latino, The Marino Organization - 212.889.0808

elizabeth@themarino.org

Huge New York Development Project Becomes a Data Science Lab

Hudson Yards is a huge estate development project, the largest in New York since Rockefeller Center. It is to include office towers, apartments, shops, a luxury hotel, a public school and acres of public space. Construction began at the end of 2012, and has picked up recently.

But the sprawling development on Manhattan’s West Side, built on top of old rail yards along the Hudson River, will also become an urban laboratory for data science. The developers, Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group, are teaming up with New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress to create a “quantified community.”

The Promise of Urban Informatics

2013 Fall Open House

Justin Salamon

Gregory Dobler

Huy Vo

Kaan Ozbay

Theo Damoulas

Steven Koonin’s Growing Army of Big-Data Wizards is out to Make New York a Better City

Forget the ivory tower. Some new college programs launching in New York are tied into improving city life and boosting the economy. For example, Steven Koonin, director of New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP), located in MetroTech in Brooklyn, is on the cutting edge of using big data to create jobs in New York in the private sector and government.

Launched in April 2012, CUSP currently is on target to graduate 24 master’s-degree students next year. But in the next decade, the program is primed to grow and graduate 500 master’s and doctoral students.

Koonin, a native New Yorker, has strong credentials. He served as under secretary at the Department of Energy from 2009 through 2001. He’s also been associated with the Institute for Defense Analyses and has a bachelor of science from Caltech and a doctorate from MIT.

In this question-and-answer session, Koonin discusses how CUSP works with government, what skills its graduates possess and how it’s on the cutting edge.

A School Devoted Entirely to the ‘Science of Cities’

The Center for Urban Science and Progress, a new research center that recently welcomed its first students and faculty in downtown Brooklyn, certainly has its eyes on the city. The ceiling-high windows of the main office track New York’s sites and skyscrapers for miles — even catching a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty. One long wall of an entire room is lined with dozens of flatscreen panels that will soon display the loads of urban data the center was created to capture.

“It’s real fun to be living in the middle of something you’re trying to study at the same time,” says Steven Koonin, the center’s director. “That’s why we’re here with that view.”

Mayor Bloomberg Welcomes NYU’s Center for Urban Science & Progress Inaugural Graduate Class

CUSP Student Photo with Mayor Bloomberg

Brooklyn, NY — August 26: Mayor Bloomberg was on hand to welcome the inaugural class of graduate students at New York University’s Center for Urban Science & Progress (CUSP). The NYU center was designated just last year as part of the City’s groundbreaking Applied Sciences NYC initiative, which seeks to increase New York City’s capacity for applied sciences. Building on its mission to define the emerging field of Urban Informatics, CUSP will shape its students into the next generation of scientists who will understand urban data sources and how to manipulate and integrate large, diverse datasets. These skills will enable them to develop solutions to pressing urban problems that recognize and account for the constraints embedded in complex urban systems.

“NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress will establish New York City as a global leader in urban informatics, and I’d like to welcome their inaugural class of graduate students to Downtown Brooklyn,” said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. “As a key part of our Applied Sciences initiative, we are excited to see CUSP attract even more of the best and brightest from around the world to New York City.”

“We are truly excited to welcome our first class of students,” said CUSP Director Steve Koonin.  “We believe that CUSP’s curriculum offers a vigorous, dynamic and comprehensive educational program.  This first group of students has outstanding credentials, validating the idea that the best young minds are drawn to studying cities, and we are particularly honored to have Mayor Bloomberg – whose Applied Sciences NYC initiative made all this possible – here to welcome them.   Using New York City as its classroom, this accomplished group of students, along with CUSP researchers, will be poised to study and use big data analytics to drive decision-making in urban areas.  We believe that CUSP’s graduates will go on to work for private technology firms, public sector agencies, and in entrepreneurship and new venture creation.”

The incoming class of 25 students will receive a Master of Science in Applied Urban Science and Informatics. The class holds degrees from 24 universities around the world and come with training in more than 20 different academic disciplines – some from the core disciplines like Mathematics, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering and Physics; others with strong preparation in the social sciences such as Sociology, Political Science, and Urban Studies & Planning.  The unprecedented range of backgrounds illustrates the diversity of the inaugural class ranging from one student with a Ph.D. in Mathematics and another with a degree in Studio Art with near perfect quantitative GRE scores.

The M.S. program offers students the opportunity to engage in the interdisciplinary study of urban science and informatics and to apply their technical skills to challenges facing cities around the world.  The intensive, one-year, three-semester M.S. program provides students with core courses in the science of cities, urban informatics, and information and communication technology in cities.  Students will select from multiple policy domains to gain breadth and depth in the application of big data analytics to urban problems.  The program also contains a focus on entrepreneurship and innovation leadership, and students will be given the option to study technology entrepreneurship or “change leadership” in an existing organization.  The core of the one-year curriculum is a two-semester project – the Urban Science Intensive – during which students, working closely with mentors from CUSP’s Industrial and National Laboratory partners, will apply the principles of informatics to address an actual urban problem with a New York City agency to have a direct and meaningful impact on the quality of life in cities.

About New York University’s Center for Urban Science & Progress

CUSP is an applied science research institute created by New YorkUniversity and NYU-Poly with a consortium of world-class universities and the foremost international technology companies to address the needs of cities. At the heart of its academic program, CUSP will investigate and develop solutions to the challenges that face cities around the world.  This research will make CUSP the world’s leading authority in the emerging field of “urban informatics”.  For more news and information on CUSP, please visit http://cusp.nyu.edu/.

Contact:

Kim Alfred. CUSP – 917.392.0859
kim.alfred@nyu.edu

John Marino, The Marino Organization – 212.889.0808
john@themarino.org

The Promise of Urban Informatics (Video)

Director, Dr. Steve Koonin gives an overview of the Center for Urban Science & Progress (CUSP).
 Read more

NYC ‘Urban Informatics’ Program readies for start

A new New York City graduate program aimed at applying information technology to urban problems is gearing up to admit its first class this summer.

The New York University-led Center for Urban Science and Progress Thursday showed off its temporary home in a Brooklyn office building Thursday to Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Constantine E. Kontokosta

Steve Koonin speaks at DataGotham 2012

DataGotham was a celebration of New York City’s data community, bringing together professionals from finance to fashion and from startups to the Fortune 500. The day-and-a-half event consisted of intense discussion, networking, and sharing of wisdom, taking place on September 13th – 14th at NYU Stern’s Paulson auditorium. Steve Koonin was invited to discuss his view of a connected city, as well as to discuss the newly formed Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP).