CITIES

Civic Analytics: data-driven city operations, policy, and planning.

Research to support quality-of-life in cities through data-driven insight for decision-makers.

The vast amount of data generated from diverse data sources provides both an opportunity and a challenge to urban policymakers and decision-makers. The application of data-driven analytics to parse the detailed data that city agencies continually collect offers the opportunity to identify new areas for operational efficiencies, enhanced service delivery, and better informed policy design and implementation. When combined with other, correlative data sources – pulled from social media feeds, transit cameras, and myriad sensors – the potential increases significantly to understand and improve quality-of-life in cities.

The Urban Intelligence Lab works directly with city agencies and non-profit organizations to acquire, analyze, and derive insight from data in order to solve tangible and significant problems of city management, policy, and planning. Prof. Kontokosta has worked with over two dozen agencies and NGOs across multiple cities, delivering problem-oriented research that serves the dual purpose of advancing our scientific understanding of cities and having a direct impact on quality-of-life in cities. Current and recent project descriptions are available below.

Selected city government collaborators:

  • New York City Mayor’s Office of Sustainability
  • New York City Mayor’s Office of Tech & Innovation
  • New York City Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics
  • New York City Economic Development Corporation
  • New York City Department of Sanitation
  • New York City Department of Design and Construction
  • New York City Department of City Planning
  • New York City 311
  • New York City Housing Authority
  • New York City Department of Buildings
  • Washington, DC Department of Energy and Environment
  • Singapore Land Authority
  • Greater London Authority
  • Montgomery County, Maryland
  • City of New Orleans

 

Civic Analytics Fellowship Program

Through the Urban Intelligence Lab, this fellowship program brings together students and post-graduates with a diverse range of technical backgrounds to work with city agencies to data analytics projects that address critical operational and policy challenges and create positive social impact. The fellowship is supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Meet the Fellows

Urban Informatics Training for Graduate Students and City Leaders

Through the NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) and the Tandon School of Engineering, students can learn how to connect data science skills with urban operations, policy, and planning. The CUSP MS in Applied Urban Science and Informatics provides in-depth training in urban informatics and its application to city challenges. The Urban Informatics concentration in the MS in Urban Infrastructure Systems at the Department of Civil and Urban Engineering exposes students to the use of data science in infrastructure management and planning. The pending PhD in Urban Systems at Tandon is for students seeking opportunities to develop their research skills at the intersection of civil engineering, data science, and urban planning.

Details

Civic Analytics and Urban Intelligence book

Professor Constantine E. Kontokosta’s forthcoming edited volume, "Civic Analytics and Urban Intelligence: How Data and Information Can Shape Urban Planning, Design, and City Operations", with co-editor Dr. Colin Harrison, will be published by Routledge in 2017.

Research Team

Constantine E. Kontokosta, PhD, PE

DIRECTOR, URBAN INTELLIGENCE LAB; Assistant Professor of Urban Informatics; CUSP Deputy Director for Academics; Head, Quantified Community

Bartosz Bonczak

Associate Research Scientist

Nicholas Johnson

PhD Candidate and Assistant Research Scientist

Awais Malik

Ph.D Candidate, Civil & Urban Engineering (NYU Tandon) and NYU CUSP

awais.malik@nyu.edu
646.997.0544

Yuan Lai

Ph.D. Candidate

yuan.lai@nyu.edu
646.997.0612

Boyeong Hong

PhD Candidate

Tashay Green

Civic Analytics Graduate Student Fellow

Geoff Perrin

Civic Analytics Graduate Student Fellow

Martin Traunmueller, PhD

Civic Analytics Fellow

Xinshi Zheng

Civic Analytics Graduate Student Fellow

Kristi Korsberg

Civic Analytics Graduate Student Fellow

Ian Stuart

Graduate Research Assistant, Building Informatics

Ryan Sims

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Raka Dey

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Constantine E. Kontokosta, PhD, PE

DIRECTOR, URBAN INTELLIGENCE LAB; Assistant Professor of Urban Informatics; CUSP Deputy Director for Academics; Head, Quantified Community

ckontokosta@nyu.edu

Prof. Kontokosta brings training urban planning, data science, economics, and systems engineering to the data-driven study of cities.

Professor Constantine E. Kontokosta, PhD, PE, is an Assistant Professor of Urban Informatics in the Department of Civil and Urban Engineering and the Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) at New York University, is the Director of the Urban Intelligence Lab, and is the Deputy Director for Academics at CUSP. He holds a faculty appointment as Visiting Professor of Computer Science at the University of Warwick, and is affiliated faculty at the Marron Institute for Urban Management. He is also the Principal Investigator and Head of the CUSP Quantified Community research facility, a groundbreaking project underway at three districts in New York City – at the Hudson Yards development in New York City; in Lower Manhattan; and in Red Hook, Brooklyn – that is building sensor-enabled urban neighborhoods to study the impact of the built environment on well-being and human behavior. As one of the first faculty to join CUSP, Constantine is part of the CUSP founding leadership team, setting the Center’s strategic priorities and leading the design and implementation of its academic programs in urban data science, growing from just two to over 50 faculty and staff and 100 graduate students in three years. He serves as Faculty Engineer-in-Residence at the NYU Tech Incubators, where he mentors cleantech and smart city start-up companies from early stage idea refinement to technology demonstration and deployment. He is a 2017 recipient of the NSF CAREER award for his research in urban informatics for smart, sustainable cities.

Dr. Kontokosta‘s research lies at the intersection or urban planning, data science, and systems engineering, focusing on using big data and new sensing technologies to better understand the dynamics of physical, environmental, and social systems in the urban environment. His work has been published in leading academic journals in fields including science, economics, urban policy and planning, and engineering, and has two forthcoming books, one on data-driven city operations and planning and the other on the subject of big data and urban sustainability. He collaborates with numerous city agencies in the U.S. and internationally on issues of urban sustainability and resilience policy and planning and city operations, including a multi-year effort to lead data analysis on building energy efficiency with the NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. Dr. Kontokosta’s work has been featured in the Wall Street JournalNew York TimesCNN, NPR, Fast CompanyCityLab, Bloomberg NewsFinancial Times, APS Physics, and ASCE’s Civil Engineering Magazine, among other national and international media outlets.

Dr. Kontokosta holds a Ph.D., M.Phil, and M.S. in Urban Planning, specializing in urban economics and econometrics, from Columbia University, a M.S. in Real Estate Finance from New York University, and a B.S.E. in Civil Engineering Systems from the University of Pennsylvania. He has received research funding from the MacArthur Foundation, the Sloan Foundation, the National Science Foundation, Siemens Corp., CBRE Group, Inc., Lockheed Martin, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, among others. Kontokosta has won the IBM Faculty Award, the Google IoT Research Award, and NYU’s Award for Teaching Excellence. He is also a recipient of the C. Lowell Harriss Dissertation Award, the Columbia GSAS Dissertation Award, the Charles Abrams Award for Research in Social Justice, the Best Paper Award at the Bloomberg Data for Good Exchange in 2015, and has been named a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Urban Planning.

Dr. Kontokosta is a licensed Professional Engineer, a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, a USGBC LEED Accredited Professional, and has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).  In addition, he has served on the NYC Mayor’s 80×50 Task Force, as Vice Chair of the Suffolk County Planning Commission, and on the Boards of the UNEP SBCI and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. He is an accomplished real estate entrepreneur, and, together with his brother, Michael Kontokosta, designed, built, and owns Kontokosta Winery, the Harborfront Inn, and Cove Place Inn, all on the North Fork of Long Island, as well as additional properties in New York City and the East End. He has also designed and received environmental approval for more than 150 units of affordable housing.

Recent Projects

Energy Cost Burdens and Housing Affordability for Low-Income Households

View Project

Analyzing the Impacts of Urban Land Use Dynamics

View Project

Benchmarking, Feedback, and Behavior Change for Commercial Office Building Tenants

View Project

Data Quality and Reliability Metrics for Building Energy Disclosure Data

View Project

CommunitySense

View Project

Predicting Building-level Waste Generation and Recycling

View Project

Machine Learning Approaches to Predict and Target Building Energy Retrofits

View Project

Recent Publications

Bartosz Bonczak

Associate Research Scientist

bartosz.bonczak@nyu.edu
646.997.0530

Bartosz Bonczak is an Associate Research Scientist at CUSP working with Quantified Community and Building Informatics teams.

In his research, he applies data-driven approaches to improve building energy efficiency and the analysis of urban topogrpahy.

Bartosz received M.S. in Urban Informatics from CUSP (2015) and completed a B.S. (2009) and a M.S. (2011) in Geography with the focus on tourism at University of Lodz in his home country of Poland. Prior to joining CUSP he was Assistant Research Scientist at the Department of Geographical Sciences at University of Lodz.

Recent Projects

Energy Cost Burdens and Housing Affordability for Low-Income Households

View Project

Benchmarking, Feedback, and Behavior Change for Commercial Office Building Tenants

View Project

Data Quality and Reliability Metrics for Building Energy Disclosure Data

View Project

CommunitySense

View Project

Machine Learning Approaches to Predict and Target Building Energy Retrofits

View Project

Recent Publications

Nicholas Johnson

PhD Candidate and Assistant Research Scientist

Nicholas.johnson@nyu.edu
646.997.0590

Nicholas E. Johnson is a Ph.D candidate in Urban Science at the University of Warwick's Institute for the Science of Cities and an Assistant Research Scientist at NYU's Center for Urban Science and Progress.

He obtained a Masters degree from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program in 2013 centering his work on exploring the impact and pervasiveness of waste streams in urban environments through physical computing and interaction design.  He has launched several citizen science initiatives and continues citizen-driven research as an organizer for the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science.  Nicholas’s current research focuses on the design and development of cyber-physical systems for monitoring urban environments and data-driven analyses to understand urban phenomena including waste generation and urban mobility,

Recent Projects

CommunitySense

View Project

Predicting Building-level Waste Generation and Recycling

View Project

Recent Publications

Awais Malik

Ph.D Candidate, Civil & Urban Engineering (NYU Tandon) and NYU CUSP

awais.malik@nyu.edu
646.997.0544

Awais Malik is a Ph.D. Candidate in Civil and Urban Engineering at NYU Tandon and a Research Assistant at NYU CUSP.

He graduated from Dartmouth College in 2013 with an A.B. in Engineering Sciences with Honors and a B.E. in Mechanical Engineering. He was a member of Dartmouth’s $300 House Initiative, and received the Dean of Faculty grant to design and test affordable housing solutions for Haiti. Awais joined CUSP’s inaugural class of graduate students in 2013, and was one of the first research assistants at the Kontokosta Research Group. Awais received a Master of Science in Applied Urban Science and Informatics from CUSP in 2014. For the past two years, he has worked on forming a unified, multi-factor index of resilience capacity for New York City neighborhoods: the Resilience to Emergencies and Disasters Index (REDI). Awais’ current research focuses on understanding urban resilience by measuring near real-time neighborhood activity.

Recent Projects

CommunitySense

View Project

Machine Learning Approaches to Predict and Target Building Energy Retrofits

View Project

Recent Publications

Yuan Lai

Ph.D. Candidate

yuan.lai@nyu.edu
646.997.0612

Yuan Lai is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Urban Systems in the Department of Civil and Urban Engineering at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering and CUSP.

Yuan Lai is a Ph.D. candidate in Urban Systems at NYU Tandon School of Engineering. His research focuses on urban informatics and data-driven city development. He holds a M.S. in Urban Informatics from NYU CUSP and a M.S. in Urban Planning, specializing in urban design and GIS, from State University of New York at Buffalo. Prior to joining CUSP, he practiced as an architect with Moshe Safdie on large-scale building design and master planning projects. He is an Accredited Professional of Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design specialized in neighborhood development.

 

Recent Projects

Analyzing the Impacts of Urban Land Use Dynamics

View Project

Recent Publications

Boyeong Hong

PhD Candidate

boyeong.hong@nyu.edu

My research interests focus on how to apply urban informatics to real world problems in urban planning and operations.

I hold a master degree in Applied Urban Science and Informatics from NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP). While at CUSP, I was a Graduated Research Assistant in Identifying E-Waste (Electronic waste) generation in New York City project in addition to working on data analytics for capital planning with NYC Department of City Planning as part of my capstone project. Most recently, I have been working at the Pratt Center for Community Development translating geospatial data into problem solving insight through GIS mapping and analysis. Prior to CUSP, I have participated in various research projects related to urban planning and data analytics in Seoul, South Korea. I have a Bachelor degree in Architecture from Yonsei University and a Master of City Planning degree from Seoul National University.

Recent Projects

Analyzing the Impacts of Urban Land Use Dynamics

View Project

Predicting Building-level Waste Generation and Recycling

View Project

Recent Publications

Tashay Green

Civic Analytics Graduate Student Fellow

tg1478@nyu.edu

Tashay is a M.S. candidate at NYU Center for Urban Science + Progress and Civic Analytics Graduate Student Fellow.

She holds a B.S. in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Howard University. Prior to joining CUSP, Tashay was a secondary educator in Biological Science and Conceptual Physics. She also served as a Program Manager for a non-profit organization that teaches front-end web development to under-resourced students in New York City. Her current research focuses on using data analytics to address critical operational and policy challenges, and drive positive social impact within city agencies.

Recent Publications

Geoff Perrin

Civic Analytics Graduate Student Fellow

gtp232@nyu.edu

Geoff Perrin graduated from the University of Michigan with a BS in Economics and Mathematics, and is currently pursuing an MS in Applied Urban Science and Informatics at NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress. He’s built machine learning algorithms relating to various topics, from predicting Medicare fraud to predicting Levi’s jeans sales.

Recent Projects

Predicting Building-level Waste Generation and Recycling

View Project

Recent Publications

Martin Traunmueller, PhD

Civic Analytics Fellow

martin.traunmueller@nyu.edu

Martin is an architect and digital urbanist from Austria who is a Civic Analytics Fellow with the Urban Intelligence Lab..

After his architecture studies in Vienna, Martin worked as design architect professionally in Dubai and Vienna before he joined the MSc Adaptive Architecture and Computation course at The Bartlett / UCL in 2011. His interested in investigating the physical and digital relationships between an urban environment and it’s inhabitants, especially in the field of urban pedestrian navigation, led him to an award of an Intel sponsorship for his PhD at the ICRI Cities / Department of Computer Science, UCL. After graduation, Martin joined CUSP / NYU as Civic Analytics Fellow where he currently focus on modelling pedestrian flows in urban environments.

Recent Publications

Xinshi Zheng

Civic Analytics Graduate Student Fellow

xz1845@nyu.edu

Xinshi is a Master student and a Civic Analytics Graduate Student Fellow in the Urban Intelligence Lab.

He holds a M.S. in Civil Engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2015), and a B.Eng in Architectural Environment Engineering from University of Nottingham, UK (2013). His research interests include developing data science applications for urban infrastructure planning and optimization, as well as geospatial analysis.

Recent Projects

Benchmarking, Feedback, and Behavior Change for Commercial Office Building Tenants

View Project

Predicting Building-level Waste Generation and Recycling

View Project

Machine Learning Approaches to Predict and Target Building Energy Retrofits

View Project

Recent Publications

Kristi Korsberg

Civic Analytics Graduate Student Fellow

kk3374@nyu.edu

Kristi is a graduate student at New York University’s Center for Urban Science and Progress, pursuing a Masters of Science in Applied Urban Science and Informatics.

Her primary research interest is using data to improve operations and service delivery in the health care and criminal justice domains. Prior to joining CUSP, Kristi received her Bachelor of Arts from Harvard College in Government and Global Health and Health Policy.

Recent Publications

Ian Stuart

Graduate Research Assistant, Building Informatics

is1480@nyu.edu

Ian is currently pursuing a MS in Applied Urban Science and Informatics from NYU CUSP.

His primary research interests involve the application of data analysis to urban sustainability challenges and resource efficiency. He is also studying the potential for emerging, data-intensive technologies to bring about drastic change in urban systems like transportation, housing, and energy.

Ian’s experience includes work in urban design, environmental consulting, and civic technology. HIs study of cities began with a BA in Urban Studies from Stanford University. He also holds a Master’s of Environmental Management from Duke.

Recent Publications

Ryan Sims

Ryan Sims

Undergraduate Research Assistant

rts347@nyu.edu

As a Summer Research Student at CUSP, Ryan Sims works closely with PhD Candidate, Nicholas E. Johnson and Dr. Constantine E. Kontokosta to further the development of the Quantified Communities (QC). Ryan’s research goals are to understand, replicate, and improve the sensors which collect data from the QCs.

In addition to his research at CUSP, Ryan Sims is in route, as a college junior, to complete his undergrad at Northern Illinois University with a B.S. in Energy and Environmental Engineering Technology

Recent Publications

Raka Dey

Undergraduate Research Assistant

raka.dey@nyu.edu

Raka Dey is a rising senior at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering currently pursuing her BS in Sustainable Urban Environments. She is at CUSP for the summer doing research on the Qualified at Hudson Yards project. Aside from engineering, she has focused her studies on architecture, public policy, and urban planning. Through her research here, she hopes not only to gain skills in data science, but also combine her various academic interests. Raka will continue her research on this project during the school year through her Smart Cities class.

Recent Publications

Recent Projects

Recent Publications