Urban Data

Data may be the new oil, but just as with fossil fuels, exploiting its value creates many externalities and unintended consequences.

Our research and advisory work helps organizations understand the effective, ethical use of data-driven decision-making to improve urban life and city governance, simultaneously.


Measuring Cities’ Readiness for Big Data

City governments have a lot of places to turn to for ideas and blueprints about focused ways to use big data and analytics to drive innovation. But there’s nothing to help them think strategically about big data and make coordinated investments and reforms that pay off over time. To fill


Urban Data Maturity Models: An Expert Workshop

The purpose of the workshop was to build on the recent research effort on Big Data and Urban Governance sponsored by the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB’s) Housing and Urban Development Division. This work, conducted during the summer of 2016, resulted in the creation of a big data maturity model for


Deconstructing the Internet of Things

As part of the “Deconstructing IoT” series produced by New York City-based sensor startup Temboo in 2015, Anthony Townsend spoke with Claire Mitchell and Vaughn Shinall about his research on the future of cities, how the Internet of Things is making an impact internationally, and some of the “big wins


Making Sense of Urban Science

Why do some cities grow, and others decline? What makes one city different from another, and what commonalities do they share? What is a city anyways? In the early 2010s, scientists from a broad range of disciplines launched a wide range of new efforts to address these fundamental questions about


The Future of Cities, Information, and Inclusion

Based on ESADE’s “Inspiring Futures” format, this presentation is one of eleven delivered by thought-leaders on 17 November 2013, the first of the two-day CitiSense 2013 Conference, organized by the United Nations.


1 Minute Ideas: The Political Economy of Urban Analytics

This brief clip, part of the NYU GovLab’s online academy, provides a high-level overview of how cities have used data–from the invention of writing to machine learning–to solve governance problems. It highlights some of the risks of actually putting data-driven solutions to work.


The Corporate Advantage in Smart Cities

The concept of “smart cities” has become a catchphrase for many companies seeking to offer solutions to many of the problems in urban hubs today in the areas of traffic, public safety and education. “The idea basically is how to use information technology to make cities work better,” explained Anthony


The data cannot / Los datos no pueden

We shared the screen in this bilingual documentary (produced by José Luis de Vicente) with a brilliant array of thinkers including Usman Haque, Adam Greenfield, Evgeny Morozov, and Frank Kresin. ¿Pueden los datos resolver nuestros problemas? ¿Dar significado a nuestras vidas? ¿Saber de quién nos enamoraremos? ¿Tomar decisiones por nosotros?


A New Civics for the Digital City

This talk at Manchester’s remarkable Future Everything conference, provided an overview of the key themes and arguments in Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for A New Utopia.