The "mini city" of Hudson Yards, currently under construction on the West Side of Manhattan, is the largest private real estate development in the United States. But the project is remarkable for another reason: "When all stages are completed, the 65,000 people daily who pass through the Hudson Yards’ office towers, residences, shops, restaurants, hotel, public school, and public open space will contribute to a massive stream of data intended to help answer the big questions about how cities of the future should be managed," writes Jessica Leber.
According to Leber, "NYU is collaborating with the two developers of Hudson Yards--the Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group--to create a “data-rich research environment” that will feed information about everything from air quality to how many steps residents take each day."
The concept of "smart cities" is an ongoing question for policymakers and planners, but Leber describes the Hudson Yards project as an unprecedented research laboratory: "The flow of data will help [urban scientists, designers, and engineers] ask questions that were hard to answer before. Some are specific, such as how to manage the trash, recycling, and composting system or other onsite sustainable features like the cogeneration plant. Others are on a more theoretical urban design scale…”