With over 80% of the planet impacted by urbanization in an accelerating trend, this moment in history is defined by a clarion call for inclusive, data-driven innovation to improve the resiliency, health, and well-being of cities. As an effort led by Bill Howe, Urbanalytics is a campus-wide effort to advance municipal big data projects. Urbanalytics will bridge expertise from the eScience Institute, the Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology (CSDE), and faculty from across the Urban@UW network to establish a permanent capacity for high-impact, data-driven analytics and research projects on behalf of government and community stakeholders, addressing the complex challenges and opportunities of the urban landscape.
Urban@UW is proud to be a participating in the MetroLab Network, an initiative of the White House aimed at activating smart city principles through targeted partnerships between cities and universities. The City of Seattle and the University of Washington, under UrbAnalytics, are hosting one of 40 city-university partnerships in this national network, each striving to develop technological and data-grounded solutions to challenges facing urban areas. Our partnership is focused on leveraging smart city technology for social good. Funded in part by the MacArthur Foundation, this partnership is addressing the following projects as a start:
- Working with University of Chicago to deploy sensors to monitor and evaluate micro-environmental dynamics on the streets of Seattle;
- Supporting UW’s Tech Policy Lab in developing policy to address the ethics and implications for data sharing at the city scale; and
- Facilitating the Department of Electrical Engineering in examining the relationships between temperature and power grid activity in anticipation of extreme heat events associated with climate change.
Through these and future projects, our ambition is to leverage city-university and city-to-city partnerships to broaden knowledge-sharing and collectively work towards addressing urban challenges that affect multiple communities: from individual citizens and institutions, to the city itself.