NYU to bring Big Data to big development in Manhattan

Residents of the new West Side development will be involved in a data collection plan.

New Yorkers who will live in the future Hudson Yards development on the far West Side will also be participating in a big data experiment with NYU.

NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) is teaming up with Hudson Yards developers Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group to collect data on day-to-day life, the groups announced Monday.

The data program at Hudson Yards is being billed as the “first quantified community” and, according to Related senior vice president Joanna Rose, part of a strategy to “create tomorrow’s city, today.”

“On our partnership with CUSP, that’s really allowing us to monitor and react to traffic patterns, air quality, power demands, temperature — it’s really harnessing big data to optimize the development and the entire resident, employee and visitor experience,” she said.

Hudson Yards will essentially be a new neighborhood totaling 17 million square feet over 28 acres between 30th and 34th streets, 10th Avenue to the West Side Highway. The first commercial tower is slated to go up next year, and the first residential building will open in 2017.

Related and CUSP both stress data collection will be anonymous and note that residents can choose to volunteer their data.

Dr. Constantine Kontokosta, CUSP deputy director and head of the quantified community initiative, said Hudson Yards’ size and scope will provide researchers with a wealth of data that could inform residents about their home and highlight areas in need of efficient management.

Kontokosta noted the data will be analyzed to detect patterns of mobility, transportation and energy and open land use.

“To be able to, real-time, see how things are working is going to be really important for policymakers going forward,” he said, adding that CUSP partners with more than a dozen government agencies.

Noel Hidalgo, of Beta NYC, a tech and civic group, said there is a demand for this information, particularly for climate change and energy use.

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