Urban Informatics

in the Science and Practice of Planning

+ Constantine Kontokosta


Urban Informatics in the Science and Practice of Planning

Journal of Planning Education and Research August 2018

The vast amount of data being generated in and about cities creates both an opportunity and a dilemma for urban policymakers and planners. This paper articulates the theoretical, practical, and pedagogical foundations for the fields of urban informatics and civic analytics and outlines the challenges to effectively applying big data and computational methods to urban management, policy, and planning. It describes the state of the field, defines the range of applications in the urban context, and presents key considerations in training scientists that both acknowledge and capitalize on shifting modes of learning, working, and decision making. Situated within the ethical and moral landscape of data analytics, it articulates the knowledge and skills needed by future urban science practitioners and concludes with a discussion of data-driven problem solving in the urban context.


Constantine E. Kontokosta, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Urban Science and Planning and Director of the Civic Analytics program at the NYU Marron Institute of Urban Management. He also directs the Urban Intelligence Lab and holds cross-appointments at the Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) and the Department of Civil and Urban Engineering at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, and is affiliated faculty at the NYU Wagner School of Public Service.

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