A hub is a center of activity that bridges the gap between academic resources and public needs, organizing strategic partnerships between academia, industry, communities, and government. Hubs leverage the convening power of a major university campus to bring people together and undertake leading-edge research to advance the application of digital technology. Unlike traditional academic departments, hubs are agile and flexible, able to adapt research to be responsive to changing public and industry needs. The flexibility of hubs enables the Jacobs Institute, and Cornell Tech by extension, to remain current even as industry and technology change in ways that are impossible to predict.
JACOBS TECHNION-CORNELL INSTITUTE
Urban Tech Hub
Making cities stronger, fairer, and more resilient.
The Urban Tech Hub of the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech is a new venture in New York City that generates applied research, fosters an expanding tech ecosystem, and cultivates the next generation of leaders in urban technology. Our goal is to shape the field of urban tech with a human-centered approach that focuses first on the people that use the technology. We advance technology research and education to build a better world by increasing access and opportunity within the tech sector.
Based at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech, the Urban Tech Hub leverages the resources of Cornell University and brings together researchers, engineers, scientists, urban tech companies, government agencies, and community organizations to address the challenges facing cities today.
Why We Need Urban Tech Leadership
Now, more than ever, it is clear that the future of cities depends on building more resilient, connected and sustainable environments to respond to changing realities. By convening the next generation of creative minds and leaders in technology, the Urban Tech Hub is driving a new era of urban innovation that will improve how we live, work and play in cities around the world.”
What We Do
The Urban Tech Hub is a leading source of knowledge on urban tech engineering and its impacts. The research and activities of the Hub incorporate computer science, business management, entrepreneurial studies, systems engineering, data analysis, urban planning, urban policy, behavioral economics, social theory, and more.
Our initiatives include:
- Urban technology development
- Urban tech research and thought leadership
- Public roundtables on emerging questions in urban tech
- Master’s, PhD, and postdoctoral programs in urban tech
- Partnerships with municipalities, community organizations, and urban tech companies
- Cultivation of urban tech startups
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What is Urban Tech?
At Cornell Tech, we define “urban tech” as a new field of study and an emerging sector of technology encompassing innovations that make cities more connected, livable, efficient, and accessible for people and businesses alike.
Urban technology bridges the gap between the digital and the physical worlds through the lens of cities. In this digital age, we are faced with a collective task: updating urban infrastructure to not only optimize its performance and efficiency, but also to improve public health, the resilience of its critical systems, the vitality of its neighborhoods, the fairness of its governance, and the success of all of its citizens. Many new urban technologies are deployed either too slowly or too quickly and without due consideration of their impacts on citizens, institutions, and existing urban systems. However, if developed thoughtfully, these same technologies can open up enormous opportunities to address previously unsolvable challenges in cities.
Today, the increasing dominance of big tech in cities is a divisive issue. But this is not a zero-sum game. Urban technologies can bring us together as long as we balance people’s needs with innovation.”