The QC Urban Sensing Array

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Research Focus

Quantified Community

Primary Subject Area

Environmental sensing

We have developed a prototype urban sensing array that measures air quality (pm2.5 concentrations), noise, temperature, humidity, pressure, and luminosity (infrared/broadband) that has been deployed at both of our test-bed communities. With the rapid evolution of sensor technology, low-cost sensors that can be easily installed, removed, and adapted to changing needs and conditions provide an optimal degree of flexibility and scalability.

Our sensors have been deployed at the Quantified Community sites. For more information, please visit the “Quantified Community” page.

Partners and Collaborators

Red Hook Initiative, Related Companies, Alliance for Downtown NY, Trust for Governor's Island, NYC Office of the CTO

Team Members

Nick Johnson, Awais Malik, Bartosz Bonczak, Constantine Kontokosta

Funding

National Science Foundation

Research Team

Nicholas Johnson

PhD Candidate and Assistant Research Scientist

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

Yuan Lai

Ph.D. Candidate

yuan.lai@nyu.edu
646.997.0612

Emily Hansen

Graduate Research Assistant


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

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,

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.

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.

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.

 

Emily Hansen

Graduate Research Assistant


Emily Hansen is a Graduate Research Assistant on the Quantified Community team. She is currently pursuing an M.S. in Applied Urban Science and Informatics at CUSP. She received a B.S. in Geophysical Sciences in 2017 from the University of Chicago, where she performed research in cryospheric remote sensing and archaeological applications of machine learning. Her current research interests include urban mobility and integrating social and data-driven strategies to analyze the effects of environmental conditions on urban activity.

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

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.

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 NYU Wagner School of Public Service and 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 five districts in New York City – at the Hudson Yards development in New York City; in Lower Manhattan; at Governor’s Island, and in Red Hook and Brownsville, 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., and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, among others. Kontokosta has won the IBM Faculty Award, Goddard Junior Faculty Fellowship, 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.