Do smart people live in smart cities?
So-called “smart” cities and communities are sprouting around the world, from the urban laboratory that is the Spanish port city of Santander to a huge residential energy research project that has been running for years in Austin, Texas. Now a new “quantified community” built from scratch is taking shape, and it’s on the biggest stage yet: The Hudson Yards, the largest private real estate project ever in the United States, which began construction on Manhattan’s underdeveloped West Side last year.
“What is really unprecedented is the scale of the development and the fact that it is being built from the ground up,” says Constantine Kontokosta, deputy director at NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress. “It really started from the question: If we could know anything about the city, what would we want to know and how could we do a better job at measuring the pace of life?”
NYU is collaborating with the two developers of Hudson Yards—the Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group—to create a “data-rich research environment” that will feed information about everything from air quality to how many steps residents take each day. A technical team with big data and software engineering expertise more typical of a Silicon Valley company than a real estate management firm will work on the project, says Cross, with assistance from SAP, a big data analytics firm that is one of the site’s major commercial tenants.[more]