CUSP In The Media

How cities are reworking their approaches to homelessness

When envisioning a “smart city” of the future, it’s hard to imagine a street of driverless cars, LEED platinum buildings and homeless men and women occupying the sidewalks between the two. Yet that vision is a complex reality for cities of all sizes — and the problem is in dire need of a long-term fix.

Communications Home Feature

Disrupting the Park Bench

“Oh, no. My phone is dead. Better head to the park.” Walk past the basketball court down at Anita Stroud Park, toward the little creek below, and you might find a gaggle of teens clustered around a very modern-looking bench that would seem more at home outside a coffee shop in Soho than in a tiny

Communications Home Feature

NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress Tackles Bus Reliability, Harmful Landlord Practices, with Data

This month kicks off a new series called MetroLab’s Innovation of the Month, in which Government Technology is partnering with MetroLab Network to recognize impactful tech, data and innovation projects between cities and universities. In this post, we spotlight projects from NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP). In particular, the Urban Science Intensive Capstones, a program led by Professor

Communications Education Home Feature

TLC Mentors Students Using Big Data

When you get in a yellow or green taxi in New York City, the cab is outfitted with equipment that automatically records the time and location of every pickup and drop-off. Since 2009, the Taxi and Limousine Commission has used this information extensively to help create data-driven policies, find items forgotten in taxicabs, and investigate

Communications Home Feature

Christine Quinn explains how technology can help fight homelessness

It seems, sometimes, that the pace of technology moves at different speeds across society. For the organization Christine Quinn leads, Women In Need, being able to text with its users could be a huge upgrade. “Right now we’re literally going around and putting flyers under people’s doors,” Quinn explained in a phone call recently. “We’re not applying any

Communications Home Feature

Urban Informatics Offers Partnership Opportunities between Institutions, Cities

In 2012, New York’s then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed colleges and universities around the world submit ideas for an applied science campus which would act as an engine of discovery and experimentation around the city’s resources. Professor Constantine Kontakosta was part of the team which submitted a proposal to create the NYU Center for Urban Science

Communications Home Feature

The New Urban Science

Mosher Street, on the west side of Baltimore, could serve as the set for a feature film on urban entropy. Drive through and you’ll see block after block of century-old row houses, most of them long without residents, in mid-crumble. Endless eyesores cause headaches for a cash-strapped city like this one: among them fire, a

Communications Home Feature

How An NYU Professor Captured the Densest-Ever Public Aerial Lidar Data

Recently professor Debra F. Laefer, with NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress–released what the center is calling the world’s densest urban aerial lidar data set. Here’s how it was described in the original press release: At over 300 points per square meter, this is more than 30 times denser than typical LiDAR data and

Communications Home Feature

NYU releases the densest LiDAR dataset ever to help urban development

New York University has made available the densest public LiDAR data set ever collected, via its Center for Urban Science and Progress. The laser scanned data, collected using aerial LiDAR instruments, is about 30 times as dense as a typical data set at a resolution of around 300 points per square meter, and covers a

Communications Home Feature

Sounds of NYC project aims to dull noises in the city that never sleeps

With so much noise pollution in New York, it’s easy to understand why it’s the city that never sleeps. The city’s civil complaint line gets more calls about noise than any other issue. One recent study estimated that 90% of New Yorkers are subjected to noise that exceeds the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended limit. And

Communications Home Feature

How the White House lost its brains

Four months into office, President Donald Trump has failed to appoint even a single person to a senior level science council, marking the first time in recent history that the White House is without a team of top technical advisers. The last time was when Richard Nixon fired his science advisers for giving him advice he didn’t like and failing to

Communications Home Feature

Elon Musk’s tunnel vision: Why his “Boring Company” underground traffic solution is a bad idea

Elon Musk revealed recently more details about his proposal to solve traffic gridlock by creating an elaborate 3D matrix of subterranean highways that would whisk cars around on electrified pallets. But aside from obvious questions about technical feasibility and the cost to build and maintain such a network, some urban planners are questioning whether increasing the capacity

Communications Home Feature

Identifying and modeling the structural discontinuities of human interactions

ABSTRACT The idea of a hierarchical spatial organization of society lies at the core of seminal theories in human geography that have strongly influenced our understanding of social organization. Along the same line, the recent availability of large-scale human mobility and communication data has offered novel quantitative insights hinting at a strong geographical confinement of

Communications Home Feature

NYC universities expanding into technology at a ‘frenetic pace’

The Times posted a good piece Wednesday about the rapid expansion of New York universities into the tech space, highlighting NYU Tandon along with Columbia University and Cornell University. The article focused on NYU Tandon’s $500 million acquisition and renovation of Downtown Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Transit Authority building, which will house the Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) and programs like the Future Labs, which have incubated dozens of promising

Communications Home Feature

Where Halls of Ivy Meet Silicon Dreams, a New City Rises

To see higher education in New York City being transformed, you have only to pick your vantage point. From the roof of a residential Columbia University high-rise on Riverside Drive, you can watch excavators digging into the earth and workers putting the finishing touches on two new Renzo Piano-designed buildings, the first phase of the

Communications Home Feature

To Create a Quieter City, They’re Recording the Sounds of New York

On Thursday, microphones mounted outside two buildings in Manhattan went live. Bright yellow signs that say “Recording Underway” announced their arrival. But these devices are not eavesdropping on your conversations. A group of researchers from New York University and Ohio State University are training the microphones to recognize jackhammers, idling engines and street music, using technology originally developed to

Communications Home Feature

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

Communications Home Feature

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

Communications

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

Communications

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

Communications

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

Communications Energy & Utilities

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.

Communications Home Feature

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.

Communications Home Feature

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

Communications Home Feature

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

Communications Home Feature

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,

Communications Home Feature

Beware of “Big Data Hubris” When It Comes to Police Reform

For the past several years police departments around the United States have been betting on “big data” to revolutionize the way they predict, measure and, ideally, prevent crime. Some data scientists are now turning the lens on law enforcement itself in an effort to increase public insight into how well police officers are doing their

Communications Home Feature

Energy Transitions – Understanding the Challenge

What will it really take to make a transition to a sustainable energy society? Visions of a clean, affordable, reliable, and durable energy future are something that most everyone can support in general. But how we get there, andwhen, are different matters altogether. What fundamental issues do we need to understand, and what forces will drive or hinder that transition?

Communications Home Feature

RELATED COS, NYU WILL STUDY ‘FIREHOSE OF DATA’ FROM NYC’S FIRST QUANTIFIED COMMUNITY

With the gargantuan 28-acre Hudson Yards project just two short years away from completion, the impact and importance of its “smart city” initiatives is beginning to come into focus. At the project’s outset, developers Related Cos and Oxford Properties took the opportunity they gave themselves—basically creating an entire neighborhood from scratch—to bake in several high-tech

Communications Home Feature

Urban Informatics: Putting Big Data to Work in Our Cities

For the first time in history, more than half of the people in the world live in urban areas. Now more than ever, cities are supporting rapidly increasing populations while struggling to maintain services, operations, and quality of life for their inhabitants. As cities grow, the task of understanding how they work is becoming a pressing

Communications Home Feature

80/50 Vision: The Mayor’s Bold Greenhouse Plan

Related Companies’ hot water heaters have been built too big for a long time. No one really knows (or knew until recently) how big hot water heaters should be. “There has been a dearth in general of real data,” Charlotte Matthews, Related’s vice president for sustainability, explained to Commercial Observer. The real estate giant had been

Communications Home Feature

Can Big Data and Sensors Make Cities Smarter and Safer?

“Smart Cities” are designed to scale up “The Internet of Things” to better manage local transportation, energy, healthcare, water delivery and waste disposal. Can Big Data really improve the quality of life for residents and their neighbors?

Communications Home Feature

Keeping Up: When Technological Change Begets More, Faster Change

If you want an early glimpse of how the future may look, one place to get it is the Tower at PNC Plaza. Pittsburgh’s newest skyscraper, which has a gleaming curvilinear top that looms 33 stories over downtown, is a $400 million effort to create the world’s greenest office building. Gensler, which designed the building,

Communications Home Feature

De Blasio touts progress on OneNYC

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration says it has made progress on its OneNYC plan, the policy document that sets a course for the city’s efforts on environmental and climate change resiliency — from solar at City Hall to a new tool to control buildings’ energy use. “This morning, the Mayor announced that of the nearly

Communications

Mayor de Blasio Announces Major Progress in Greening City Buildings

City leading by example, retrofitting all public buildings by 2025; projects already in place or underway at buildings representing half of all City government building emissions Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and NYU launch tool to track energy and water use at large buildings – key resource as NYC reduces all emissions 80 percent by 2050

Communications Home Feature

From Data to Design: The Science of Cities

New York City amasses data on habits, health and security of its citizens to cope with spiraling growth   New York – Gregory Dobler is an astrophysicist who honed his craft by recording spectral images of quasars and black holes. Now, from a high-rise rooftop in Brooklyn, he is training his lens on the expanding

Communications Home Feature

2015’s Best & Worst Cities to Be a Driver

Unless you rely on public transit or live within walking distance of work, school and everywhere in between, commuting by car is necessary. For many of us, that unfortunately means being on the road about 200 hours each year — in addition to more than 40 hours stuck in traffic. In working-class terms, a total

Communications Home Feature Transportation

In New York City and Chicago, the smart city is here — and it’s keeping track of everything

Two major projects have kicked off in New York City and Chicago, part of a broader global trend toward using high technology — the latest in sensors and infinitesimal tracking and measuring devices — to create “smart cities.” The projected savings of these global initiatives: $20 billion by 2020. Last spring, NYU’s Center for Urban

Communications Home Feature

Deconstructing IOT with Temboo

Dr. Steve Koonin, Director at the Center for Urban Science and Progress, talks with us about how big data analysis may guide solutions for big city challenges. We spoke with Dr. Koonin about building partnerships between academia, government and commerce and why New York City is the perfect “living laboratory.”

Communications Home Feature

Don’t Miss a Beat

NYU researchers crunch data from cameras, sensors, cellphones, and records to capture the city’s pulse in real time.   NEW YORK – As befits a real estate project dubbed “America’s biggest . . . ever” by Fortune, the $20 billion, 26-acre Hudson Yards development rising on Manhattan’s West Side boasts some ambitious engineering. There’s the planned cluster

Communications Home Feature

The Next Silicon Valley? New York’s tech hub is taking shape – and enrolling grad students

Back in 2010, then-mayor Michael Bloomberg threw down a challenge: New York City would put up $400 million worth of land and infrastructure upgrades to seed a technology hub that would give Silicon Valley a run for its money. Universities would compete for the central role by proposing plans for an applied sciences research facility.

Communications Home Feature

From the Milky Way to Midtown, A New Way to See a City

The glare of city lights dims the stars for urban dwellers around the world, but a New York University program is borrowing an idea from astronomy to see its hometown in a new way. If the experiment lives up to its early promise, it will yield a tool that will help urban buildings everywhere be

Communications Home Feature

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

Communications Home Feature Urban Informatics

OLD CITIES, NEW BIG DATA

Big datasets have been used by authorities and public bodies for centuries, whether in the form of the national census, maps, surveys or public records. What is new is the sheer volume, speed, diversity, scope and resolution afforded by ‘big data’, a term that describes the wealth of information now available thanks to a combination

Communications Home Feature

A Secret Urban Observatory Is Snapping 9,000 Images A Day Of New York City

Astronomers have long built observatories to capture the night sky and beyond. Now researchers at NYU are borrowing astronomy’s methods and turning their cameras towards Manhattan’s famous skyline. NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress has been running what’s likely the world’s first “urban observatory” of its kind for about a year. From atop a tall building in downtown

Home Feature

Quantifying the Livable City

By the time Constantine Kontokosta got involved with New York City’s Hudson Yards development, it was already on track to be historically big and ambitious. Over the course of the next decade, developers from New York’s Related Companies and Canada-based Oxford Properties Group are building the largest real-estate development in United States history: a 28-acre neighborhood on

Home Feature

They’re Tracking When You Turn Off the Lights

Four percent of Manhattanites go to bed before 7:30 p.m. on weeknights. Only 6% turn off the lights after midnight. For more fine-grained data on what makes New York City tick, ask researcher Steven Koonin. Hidden on a Brooklyn rooftop, his wide-angle infrared camera peers at windows of thousands of buildings across the East River.

Home Feature

Meet the Man Who Turned NYC Into His Own Lab

In the mornings, Steven Koonin often dons a light blue shirt and khaki suit jacket, walks out of his apartment above Manhattan’s chic Washington Square park and heads for the subway. As he beelines down the sidewalk, the West Village buildings burp up black clouds of smoke as their boilers are fired on. At Sixth

Home Feature

What NYU CUSP is like, according to recent grad Aliya Merali

Aliya Merali had been working in a plasma physics lab at Princeton, but she told us, “I wanted to work on problems where I felt like I would immediately be able to impact the quality of life of people around me.” That’s why she decided to join the first class at NYU’s Center for Urban

Home Feature

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,

Big Data Communications Home Feature Urban Informatics

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

Big Data Communications Home Feature Urban Informatics

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

Big Data Communications Home Feature Urban Informatics

Urban Physics

While physics is a science, it is also a set of tools and a state of mind. Physicists have repeatedly found intellectual and practical benefit in applying their methods to new subjects; astronomy, biology, and earth sciences are prominent examples. The study of cities is another such subject now ripe to be taken up by

Home Feature

New Energy Data Is Changing How We Judge Efficiency—and LEED

Seeking Lessons from New York City Benchmarking Data, Researchers Question Everything We Thought We Knew About Energy Metrics In the beginning, there was Energy Star. Supported by the online Portfolio Manager infrastructure and statistical models from the periodic Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star has been the envy

Energy & Utilities Home Feature

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

Big Data Communications Education Home Feature Urban Informatics

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

Big Data Communications Education Urban Informatics

Big Data 101: How Higher Ed Is Teaching Data Science

There’s little garnering more buzz today than Big Data. But there are clues that Big Data is more than just the latest technology fad. One such indicator is theIBM Academic Initiative. Big Blue has partnered with more than 1,000 universities around the world to create academic opportunities for students interested in studying data analytics. Ranging

Big Data Communications Education

Hottest Job of the 21st Century? Bet on This

Data Scientists have been named the sexiest job of the 21st century, and are so in demand that there won’t be enough of them to fill every position by 2018, according to a report by McKinsey Global Institute. With the amount of volume and variety of data churned out by businesses, consumers and governments today, it’s no

Life in the City is Essentially One Giant Math Problem

Glen Whitney stands at a point on the surface of the Earth, north latitude 40.742087, west longitude 73.988242, which is near the center of Madison Square Park, in New York City. Behind him is the city’s newest museum, the Museum of Mathematics, which Whitney, a former Wall Street trader, founded and now runs as executive

NYU Opens New ‘Urban Informatics’ School in Downtown Brooklyn

Officials cut a ribbon Thursday to open New York University’s new Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) in Downtown Brooklyn. The center, which will focus on addressing the challenges cities face as their populations grow, is part of a larger plan by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to boost technology education in the city. “NYU CUSP will spin

New High-Tech NYU ‘genius’ school opens in Downtown Brooklyn; Will Focus on Research to Improve Urban Living Conditions

Brooklyn’s bid to become the next Silicon Valley took another step forward with the opening of a gleaming new tech center on Thursday. New York University’s new Center for Urban Science & Progress unveiled its new Downtown Brooklyn office that includes 26,000 square feet of office space, work stations for visiting faculty, and two huge

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. The center is dedicated

SimCity for Real: Measuring an Untidy Metropolis

The notion of a “science of cities” seems contradictory. Science is a realm of grand theory and precise measurement, while cities are messy agglomerations of people and human foible. But science is precisely the ambition of New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress. Founded last year, the center has been getting under way

Data Scientists Will Unlock Big Data’s Promise

A couple of months ago I was appointed executive-in-residence at the Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP), an interdisciplinary applied science research institute led by NYU and NYU-Poly in partnership with academic institutions, global companies and New York City government agencies. CUSP’s overriding mission is the study of “the grand technical, intellectual, engineering, academic,

A First Look at NYU’s Big Data Campus

When real estate broker Misha Chiporukha leaves his Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, apartment on Livingston Street and Flatbush Avenue, he is bombarded with New York noises: Buses exhale at the stop in front of his door. A boutique down the street blasts rap music from speakers. And at night, “there’s a garbage truck loading garbage for

Home Feature

A Different Kind of Impact Factor

Applied science is taking off in New York, and physics skills are in demand. Conference rooms aren’t usually the main attraction at a meeting, but the ceiling-high windows on the 40th floor of 7 World Trade Center offer one of the most spectacular views of downtown Manhattan that I’ve seen. It was the perfect backdrop

Home Feature