Today, a new wave of rapid global urbanization in the Global South, combined with the need to curb carbon emissions in the cities of the Global North, is driving renewed interest in the city as an object of scientific inquiry and engineering design. New institutions to pursue this agenda are appearing on an almost daily basis. And much like a century ago, they are leveraging and nurturing collaborations amongst new talent from many different fields of study and practice – who see in cities questions of great complexity.
This project – supported by the MacArthur Foundation, Knight Foundation, and Data + Society Research Institute – asked the question: what happens next for urban studies, and what does it mean for the way we build, manage and live in cities? Are we at a new inflection point, like the birth of planning itself in the early 20th century? What might come out the other side of this historic process – a completely new field, a dramatically changed one, or a continuation of the status quo?
We were particularly interested in understanding how the new urban science is engaging local governments and citizens. What is the role of open data in facilitating these collaborations? And how might these research practices produce better science, and improve the transfer of new discoveries into the public and private sector?