About

The Urban Intelligence Lab is supported by a diverse group of funders, collaborators, and data partners.

Welcome from the Director

We use data to solve problems facing cities and society. Through an inter-disciplinary approach centered around computational methods, we apply analytics to the study of systems dynamics at the building, district, and city scales to advance the well-being, sustainability, and resilience of urban environments. Our research confronts the social, economic, and political realities facing cities, and seeks to understand how bias and inequality influence data-driven models and their application to urban operations, policy, and planning.

Cities can be viewed as the loci of complex interactions of numerous sub-systems, each with its own rhythm, function, and logic. Understanding system behavior requires a combination of patient observation and learning, an appetite to question and challenge models, and an appreciation of ‘messiness’ (Meadows 2002). Cities are in many ways the messiest of complex systems, blending human, social, environmental, and physical systems within the constraints of regulatory, economic, and political realities. It is not sufficient to simply model the characteristics and behavior of the urban environment; scientists must collect and analyze large-scale, novel, and diverse data of appropriate spatial and temporal resolution to assist policymakers with evidenced-based strategies that will improve urban sustainability and quality-of-life in cities.

The Urban Intelligence Lab is focused on creating new data-driven methodologies to observe, model, and analyze the urban environment. Our work is grounded in solving real-world problems, and providing decision-makers with a comprehensive understanding of the inter-relationship between physical infrastructure systems, natural systems, and human systems to engage in long-term sustainability and resilience planning that is based on evidence and rigorous, objective research. Our inter-disciplinary team – combining methodological and domain expertise from engineering, data science, economics, and urban planning – is trained to harness, integrate, and interpret these urban data streams to address the societal challenge of improving quality-of-life in existing and future cities.

cards_people_180x180

Constantine E. Kontokosta, PhD, PE
Director, Urban Intelligence Lab
Assistant Professor of Urban Informatics
Deputy Director for Academics, CUSP
Department of Civil and Urban Engineering
and Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP)
New York University

Building Informatics

Our Building Informatics research advances the fundamental understanding of energy and resource consumption in buildings and urban environments to inform sustainability and resilience policy.

LEARN MORE

Community Informatics

The Quantified Community research Initiative uses sensors and community-driven data to measure, analyze, and understand the interactions of physical, environmental, and human systems within and across a diverse range of neighborhoods.

LEARN MORE

Urban Informatics

Our Urban Informatics research directly engages with city agencies and non-profit organizations to acquire, analyze, and derive insight from a diverse array of data in order to solve tangible and significant problems of city management, policy, and planning.

LEARN MORE

About the Director

Dr. Constantine Kontokosta, PE, Director of the Urban Intelligence Lab, holds joint faculty appointments at the Department of Civil and Urban Engineering and the Center for Urban Science and Progress at New York University. He is also a Visiting Professor of Computer Science at the University of Warwick and the founding Deputy Director for Academics at CUSP.

Recent Projects

Recent Publications