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

Awais Malik

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

awais.malik@nyu.edu
646.997.0544

Sokratis Papadopoulos

PhD Candidate

Yuan Lai

Ph.D. Candidate

yuan.lai@nyu.edu
646.997.0612

Xinshi Zheng

Civic Analytics Graduate Student Fellow

Ian Stuart

Graduate Research Assistant, Building Informatics

Ian Wright

Graduate 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, AIG Science, Siemens Corp., CBRE Group, Inc., 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 numerous properties in New York City and the East End.

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

Using Machine Learning and Small Area Estimation to Predicting Building-level Waste Generation and Recycling

View Project

Machine Learning Approaches to Predict and Target Building Energy Retrofits

View Project

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 topography.

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

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

Sokratis Papadopoulos

PhD Candidate

sokratis.papadopoulos@nyu.edu
646.705.3295

Sokratis is a PhD candidate in Civil and Urban Engineering at NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering and NYU CUSP.

He holds an MSc in Engineering Systems and Management from Masdar Institute, UAE (2015). His research interests lie between applied data science and optimization of building energy performance, with an emphasis on human actions.

Recent Projects

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

View Project

Machine Learning Approaches to Predict and Target Building Energy Retrofits

View Project

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

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

Using Machine Learning and Small Area Estimation to Predicting Building-level Waste Generation and Recycling

View Project

Machine Learning Approaches to Predict and Target Building Energy Retrofits

View Project

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.

Ian Wright

Graduate Research Assistant

iw453@nyu.edu

Ian's research and career interests are in next-gen power grids, microgrids, energy storage technologies, and renewables in the urban environment.

Ian received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (2011) from the University of Alberta, Canada, and is currently working towards an M.S. at NYU’s CUSP. Previously, he worked as a design engineer at an architectural firm, Dialog, designing building systems and modelling energy usage in buildings. Most recently he transitioned to the technology sector as a data analyst and strategist at a Vancouver company called Hootsuite.

Recent Projects

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

View Project

Machine Learning Approaches to Predict and Target Building Energy Retrofits

View Project

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 Projects

Recent Publications