N.Y.U. Advances the Science of Cities

Steve Lohr profiles New York University's Center for Urban Science and Progress, which is beginning to generate dividends in its study, and application of, smart city technology.

The Center for Urban Science and Progress "is part of a broader trend: the global drive to apply modern sensor, computing and data-sifting technologies to urban environments, in what has become known as 'smart city' technology," explains Lohr. "The goals are big gains in efficiency and quality of life by using digital technology to better manage traffic and curb the consumption of water and electricity, for example."

“'The Smart City movement,' according to a report this month from IDC, a technology research firm, 'is emerging and growing as a significant force of innovation and investment at all levels of government.' The N.Y.U. center’s partners include technology companies like I.B.M., Cisco Systems and Xerox, as well as universities and the New York City government."

This partnership has already proven fruitful for the City of New York, who've received assistance in tackling illegal conversions. Guided by data predictions from the N.Y.U. team, city building inspectors were able to increase their discovery of high-risk conditions from 13 percent of visits to 70 percent.

Next up for the team: noise, "[t]he largest single cause of complaints to New York’s 311 phone and online service."

Full Story: SimCity, for Real: Measuring an Untidy Metropolis

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