Do you know of an interesting project that involves local government and university partners? Fill out our nomination form to help inform our selection process for our Innovation of the Month Award by nominating a team (or yourself) for the honor.

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This project, led by New York University, will work with utility companies, city agencies and consultants to design a road map for city-level implementation of a subsurface data model and assemble two pilot data sets to prepare study sites against natural disasters.
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This project is building a collective bicycle commuting system designed to promote and enable new bicyclists.
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Together with Georgia Tech and the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, the MARTA Reach program is designed to expand mobility options for Atlanta’s underserved communities, better connecting them to major public transit hubs.
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Because natural disasters disproportionately affect underserved communities, middle school students in Savannah, GA, are learning to use mapping tools to design infrastructure changes that could protect their neighborhoods.
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This project addresses accessibility barriers that underrepresented youths experience when attending out-of-school-time (OST) learning opportunities due to limited transportation options available to them.
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To look at how the pandemic affected the way people, particularly those in marginalized communities, interact with law enforcement, researchers analyzed arrest rates in U.S. cities pre- and post-lockdown.
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A New York City project seeks to improve the post-flood financial resiliency of low-income households with parametric insurance programs.
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The Community Hub for Smart Mobility, in Austin, Texas aims to improve public transit options to underserved areas, broadening economic opportunity.
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To look at how the pandemic affected the way people, particularly those in marginalized communities, interact with law enforcement, researchers analyzed arrest rates in U.S. cities pre- and post-lockdown.
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A collaborative research project in Kansas City, Mo., uses sensors placed on buildings across diverse neighborhoods to monitor general air quality, as well as that in COVID-19 hotbeds, with publicly accessible data.
The EquiTensors project from the University of Washington takes the abundance of open data produced by government and transforms it so that not only is it useful, it’s also equitable and promotes privacy.
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Researchers from the Portland, OR, metro area are collecting data on trees in urban environments to help predict the effects of climate change and resident health, particularly on underserved communities.

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A partnership between Urban Spatial and a University of Pennsylvania professor aims to make it easier for city planners to gauge resident preference for preserving historic homes against need for higher-density housing.


A new report from Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research surveyed infrastructure projects in more than 100 major U.S. cities and argues these should be the starting place for federal strategy.


Work from of the University of Miami’s Office of Civic Engagement plots the city’s affordable housing against anticipated sea level change to provide decision-makers with a comprehensive look at housing needs.


Work in New York City collects systematic data on street-level flooding, partnering with local agencies to design real-time flood sensors and an open code that other cities can build on.


Researchers collected survey and online data to tell the story of how the pandemic affected Boston’s diverse communities and how urban policymakers can use that information to navigate the path forward.


Using human-centered design principles and behavioral nudges, researchers revised court summons for low-level offenders and instituted a text messaging reminder system, increasing court appearance rates.


Undergraduates from Rice University worked with the Harris County, Texas, Clerk’s office to learn how the pandemic affected in-voter preferences, like mail-in and drive-through voting, and impacted election outcomes.


A project out of Georgia Tech has developed an online tool that could help state and local governments assess the risk of coronavirus spread at gatherings from dinner parties to protests in their regions.


The Data, Responsibly project, based out of New York University, has taken its research on responsible data management and expanded it to improve messaging around what it means to collect and use data ethically.


Work at Carnegie Mellon University originally intended to use machine learning to develop cost-effective bus routes for K-12 students in Allegheny County, Pa., pivoted amid COVID-19 to focus on food-insecure families.


A partnership between the University of Texas at Austin and the city looks at how AI can identify residents at risk of experiencing homelessness, as well as helping those currently in need find access to services.


Researchers at the University of Chicago explore a local application of the Human Development Index, looking at rates of COVID-19 across neighborhoods and how that can inform public-sector decision-making.


An AI-driven program from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland aims to give individuals and governments a real-time picture of the risk of coronavirus transmission in a given area based on state and local data.


Kansas City, in collaboration with the University of Missouri and other local governments, has created a model to tackle the policies and procedures needed to manage sensitive data in communities as tech use grows.


Together with the city of Atlanta and Georgia Tech, the Socially Aware Mobility Lab uses data and machine learning to look at how on-demand multimodal transit could improve traffic congestion and mobility inequalities.


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Research from Carnegie Mellon University, together with the Pittsburgh Department of City Planning, uses virtual reality and 3-D technology to help urban designers and other stakeholders better plan cities.


Together with Fairfax County, Va., Health and Human Services, the Mason DataLab at George Mason University is building an analytics model to increase the likelihood of physically, mentally and socially healthier youth.

Guilford County Solution to the Opioid Problem (GCSTOP) photo shoot for Research Magazine (Fall 2019) GCSTOP on location in Highpoint, NC

The Guildford County Solution to the Opioid Problem is a multi-organization community effort to not only treat opioid overdoses and addictions, but also to get out ahead of them before those overdoses occur.


Land Access for Neighborhood Development is a mapping platform that allows Miami policymakers to visualize where lots are available near transit that could become housing options for underserved populations.


A program at the Center for Civic Innovation at Notre Dame is collecting data on contamination from lead paint in homes, and has created at-home testing kits it will then automate to improve health outcomes.


A collaboration among the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, the city and other partners drives work behind the MLK Smart Corridor, used to test new technologies and generate data-driven outcomes.

Medication Reconciliation

A program from the University of Florida and Gainesville Fire Rescue tracks patient metrics and allows for real-time communication between emergency workers and hospitals, reducing costs of frequent EMS users.


The Abandoned to Vacant project, a collaboration between the city and the University of Missouri-Kansas City, uses open data to map abandoned houses and give potential buyers a sense of the surrounding neighborhood.


The Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities – Network is a nonprofit that facilitates 38 programs at universities across the country and their work with their communities to generate high-tech solutions.


Together with the Vanderbilt Initiative for Smart Cities Operation and Research, the Nashville Fire Department and the city’s IT agency created a tool that uses predictive modeling to forecast emergency response times.


Together with Rice University and other local institutions, the Texas city is collaborating with residents and stakeholders to plan for future flood mitigation given the devastation seen during Hurricane Harvey.


Together with the University of Colorado Boulder, the city and county of Denver has developed a stormwater planning tool that uses GIS and data forecasting to inform policymaking ahead of predicted rainfall increase.


Together with Portland State University’s School of Urban Studies and Planning, Portland, Ore.’s Fire and Rescue Bureau is strategically using public data to reduce emergency call volume and improve city vibrancy.


Researchers at the University of Central Florida, in partnership with the city of Orlando, are using real-time traffic data to uncover strategies for reducing car crashes and ultimately creating fatality-free roads.


A partnership between the Philadelphia Water Department and Drexel University’s Sustainable Water Resource Engineering Lab uses sensors on green infrastructure in order to utilize city storm water more efficiently.


In collaboration with the University of Minnesota, the city of St. Paul is rethinking its approach to stormwater management through the use of green infrastructure and public-private partnerships.

Holy Fire

Originally intended to extend Internet access to far-flung areas, a collaboration between UC San Diego and San Diego County has been used to monitor and respond to several recent wildfires.

City of Austin Cameras

The city, in partnership with the University of Texas at Austin, is using video analytics to assess the city’s traffic and road usage patterns to gather better transportation data.


In partnership with the city of Memphis, the FedEx Institute of Technology at the University of Memphis has developed a method for determining the potential of connected autonomous vehicle adoption.


NowPow, an app developed in partnership with Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, is being utilized by researchers to assess the use of technology to improve the children and family services system.

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Graduate students from the University of Pennsylvania’s Master of Urban Spatial Analytics Practicum are working with city officials in Philadelphia, Providence, R.I., and Minneapolis to develop data science tools to improve safety, health and quality of life for residents.


Boston Public Schools have partnered with the Boston Area Research Initiative to create an Opportunity Index, which captures metrics about students that typical education statistics might miss.

April Innovation of the Month: Portland and Portland State Air Quality Pilot

Portland, Ore., and Portland State University partner on sensors to improve air quality monitoring and delve into how other cities and municipalities can explore their own sensor projects.


With the Internet of Things Collaborative, Case Western Reserve and Cleveland State universities work together to use their resources to drive innovation in the region.


The latest installment of MetroLab’s Innovation of the Month series highlights how a team at Ohio State University, along with the city of Columbus and private companies, is using smart, connected tech to help the blind and visually impaired.


The fifth installment of MetroLab’s Innovation of the Month series highlights how Pittsburgh’s Bureau of Fire is using predictive analytics to help their department prioritize commercial building inspections in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University.

Urban Package Delivery Heads to the Classroom

The fourth installment of MetroLab’s Innovation of the Month series highlights how a partnership between UPS and Georgetown University created a new learning experience for future urban planners.

University Researchers Use 'Fake' Data for Social Good

The third installment of MetroLab’s Innovation of the Month series highlights how researchers are addressing the challenges of privacy, data storage and usability, and creating synthetic data sets to improve social outcomes.

Atlanta's Smart Corridor to Serve as Living Lab for Smart Transportation

In the second installment of MetroLab’s Innovation of the Month series, we recognize the city of Atlanta and Georgia Institute of Technology, whose partnership is transforming one of the city’s key transit arteries into a smart cities test bed.

NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress Tackles Bus Reliability, Harmful Landlord Practices, with Data

In a new series called MetroLab’s Innovation of the Month, we examine innovative data projects between universities and local governments.