The creation of the Burke-Gilman Trail

The creation of the Burke-Gilman Trail

Image Credit: Matthew Rutledge/Flickr, CC BY-2.0.

On Sunday, Sept. 12, 1971, hundreds of people began marching toward Matthews Beach Park along the shores of Lake Washington north of Sand Point. Families, couples, adults and senior citizens converged on the park in two streams – one from the south, one from the north. They marched there that sunny late-summer afternoon along old railroad tracks, on a route that dated to the 1880s. The “hike-in” and rally was organized by UW professor emeritus...

Full Story >


First UW Livable City Year project reports delivered to the City of Auburn

First UW Livable City Year project reports delivered to the City of Auburn

Image Credit: UW Livable City Year

Teams of University of Washington students have been working throughout this academic year on livability and sustainability projects in the City of Auburn. The yearlong Livable City Year partnership has given students a chance to work on real-world challenges identified by Auburn, while providing Auburn with tens of thousands of hours of study and student work.

Livable City Year connects UW faculty with projects based in Auburn, which are then incorporated into...

Full Story >


How future superstorms could overwhelm today’s wastewater infrastructure

How future superstorms could overwhelm today’s wastewater infrastructure

Image Credit: Robert Lawton - CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

The current Seattle rainstorm, and many like it this year, are overwhelming our city’s wastewater pipes, and some sewage may be dumping into the Puget Sound as we speak. But even in a normal year, King County dumps about 800 million gallons of raw sewage into its waterways. That’s because, when it rains too much in too short a time, “pipes start to flow too full,” School of Public Health professor...

Full Story >


In the smart cities of the future, posters, signs and clothing may talk back

In the smart cities of the future, posters, signs and clothing may talk back

Image Credit: University of Washington

New research from University of Washington has shown for the first time that ambient FM radio signals can be used as a signal source for wireless communication. The technology, developed by engineers in the Networks & Mobile Systems Lab and Sensor Systems Lab, creates backscatter transmissions that can be decoded on any FM receiver, including those in cars and smartphones. This enabled the researchers, led by students in the two...

Full Story >


New report on driverless cars highlights potential challenges, solutions for Seattle’s roads

New report on driverless cars highlights potential challenges, solutions for Seattle’s roads

Credit: SounderBruce [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Over the next decade, driverless vehicles will make their way along Seattle roadways, possibly bringing relief to one of the most congested cities in the United States. Or, according to a new report out of the University of Washington, they could make things worse. UW’s Tech Policy Lab has partnered with Challenge Seattle to develop this research.

Read more in Geekwire.

Full Story >


Honoring Women Collaborators at Urban@UW

Honoring Women Collaborators at Urban@UW

credit: Jessica Hamilton

In honor of International Women’s Day, we are highlighting just some of UW’s brilliant female professors, scholars, and and change-makers with whom Urban@UW is proud to collaborate. Click on their names to explore their work.

Leadership:

Thaisa Way, Executive Director, Urban@UW; Department of Landscape Architecture

Executive Committee:

Margaret O’Mara, Department of History

Susan P. Kemp, School of Social Work<...

Full Story >


Universities establish joint center to use data for social good in Cascadia region

Universities establish joint center to use data for social good in Cascadia region

University of British Columbia, left, and University of Washington, right, have formed the Cascadia Urban Analytics Cooperative with the help of Microsoft.

In an expansion of regional cooperation, the University of British Columbia and the University of Washington today announced the establishment of the Cascadia Urban Analytics Cooperative to use data to help cities and communities address challenges from traffic to homelessness. The largest industry-funded research partnership between UBC and the UW, the collaborative will bring faculty, students and community stakeholders together to solve problems, and is made possible thanks to a $1-million gift from Microsoft.<...

Full Story >


Julian Agyeman: A Brief Reading List

Julian Agyeman: A Brief Reading List

Urban@UW and Julian Agyeman

Julian Agyeman, Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University, will be delivering a talk at the University of Washington on February 28 at 7:30pm. Agyeman was originally trained as an ecologist and biogeographer before turning to critical urban studies and environmental social science. Agyeman’s scholarship challenges basic notions of sustainability through his concept of ‘just sustainabilities,’ which aims to enhance equity and justice for both humans and ecosystems, now...

Full Story >


Drones Are Turning Civilians Into an Air Force of Citizen Scientists

Last winter, as meteorologists warned of a monster El Niño, researchers at the Nature Conservancy in California prepared to mobilize with a new, distributed surveillance strategy: commercial drones, co-opted from a gung-ho statewide network of citizen scientists. Britta Ricker, geographic information scientist in Urban Studies University of Washington-Tacoma, shares her thoughts about the challenges and rewards of this new research strategy.

Read more at Wired

Full Story >


New route-finding map lets Seattle pedestrians avoid hills, construction, accessibility barriers

New route-finding map lets Seattle pedestrians avoid hills, construction, accessibility barriers

​CC 3.0 by T413 on Wikimedia

Transportation routing services primarily designed for people in cars don’t give pedestrians, parents pushing bulky strollers or people in wheelchairs much information about how to easily navigate a neighborhood using sidewalks.

On Wednesday AccessMap – a University of Washington project spearheaded by the Taskar Center for Accessible Technology — launched a new online travel planner offering customizable suggestions for people who need accessible or pedestrian-friendly routes when getting from point A...

Full Story >


Working with community to tackle homelessness

Working with community to tackle homelessness

Wikimedia Commons, Sage Ross, CC 4.0

Seattle’s rapid rise in homelessness, coinciding with increasing costs in housing and living, have brought significant challenges to economically vulnerable populations in the Puget Sound. In spite of a sense of urgency regionally and in many areas of the country, sufficient resources, effective systemic fixes and broad support still have not come together to end homelessness.

As a research and teaching institution, the University of Washington seeks to develop strategies to address the...

Full Story >



Urbanalytics wants to use data to better your city

Urbanalytics wants to use data to better your city

Andrew Chan / UW Daily

With a growing trend of rapid urbanization over the past few decades, analysis of the urban sphere has become paramount to advancing many people’s quality of life.

Urbanalytics is a program designed to make a greater investment in the urban data science field. Bill Howe, associate professor at the UW Information School, initially saw the convergence of data science at the eScience Institute, urban scholarship at Urban@UW, and social sciences...

Full Story >


UW students get a lesson in homelessness with Tent City 3

UW students get a lesson in homelessness with Tent City 3

​Wikimedia, Joe Mabel, GFDL v 1.3

“Anybody need socks? Medical? Band-aids? Hand sanitizer?”

Lois Thetford, a University of Washington faculty member, called out in a low voice as she and three UW students made their way through closely spaced, tarp-covered tents that make up Tent City 3 — the long-running tent encampment that recently moved to the UW campus. The temperature hovered near freezing, with a brisk wind blowing from the west. Most of the campers huddled...

Full Story >


Big data to help human services: Topic of UW, City of Seattle event Jan. 17

Using big data to address human services ― including health, foster care and the challenges of homelessness ― will be the focus of a workshop next week at Seattle City Hall hosted by the University of Washington and City of Seattle along with MetroLab Network, a recent White House initiative to improve cities through university-city partnerships.

The event begins on Jan. 17 with remarks from UW President Ana Mari Cauce, Seattle Deputy Mayor...

Full Story >