Data scientists and enthusiasts gathered at the Bloomberg HQ in Midtown East to participate in this year’s Data For Good Exchange. The day was jam-packed with panel discussions and paper presentations centered around the theme of data as a tool for social benefit.
Our team was pleased to present our work on transforming building industry and health outcomes through social data-supported design (PDF). Both our paper presentation and poster highlighted how PLASTARC uses social data and a human perspective to guide the design of higher performing spaces.
We had the pleasure of sharing the stage with a number of practitioners and academics whose work also situates at the intersection of space, people, and data. One highlight, from the Cities session, was a presentation by a team of urban scientists from ARGO Labs on their Street Quality Identification Device (SQUID), a technology solution helping policymakers reduce the millions of public dollars spent on road repair. This urban issue was shown to be particularly compounded by New York City’s unique subterranean infrastructure–one requiring the city to tear-up and repave roads in order to maintain the complex web of water pipes and cables beneath them. Another highlight came from teams at the NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress and the Red Hook Initiative, who are partnering to deploy urban sensors around Red Hook, Brooklyn (PDF) to collect quality of life measurements throughout the area. The presenters framed their work as an example of citizen data science, articulating the importance of engaging communities in data collection and interpretation.