Urban Tech Hub 2023 Annual Report
As cities and technology continue to converge, the Jacobs Urban Tech Hub is leading the way to help make New York the global center of urban innovation.
This past year has been one of tremendous growth and expansion for the Urban Tech Hub at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute, where we welcomed a cohort of five urban tech fellows, hosted another successful Urban Tech Summit focused on climate technologies and began to see our impact increase as our public engagement moved beyond the five boroughs.
Since we launched the Hub at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, thanks to the generous support of Stephen M. Ross and Related Companies, we’ve developed influential programs that are both accessible and advanced. Over the past three years we have seen dramatic changes in the cities, from the challenges of remote work and increasing inequity to the financial reckoning in the tech industry and the dramatic acceleration of new generative AI tools.
As the world, and specifically cities, adapt to a post-Covid reality, we’ve developed programs dedicated to leveraging the power of technology to help optimize urban systems, improve government service delivery and help cities adapt to future technologies. Our programs fall within four mission pillars; advancing applied urban research, expanding knowledge through education, inclusive public engagement and supporting entrepreneurialism.
This past year, our research projects included a cutting-edge tool that visualizes the impact of street trees in New York City as infrastructure, a report on how crucial a collaborative approach is to the creation of open source software for cities and a range of important urban challenges raised by our new cohort of fellows.
We are expanding our educational offerings to produce public programs for city leaders across the country through programs supported by Results for America and Bloomberg Philanthropies, including the Tech & Innovation Center Series and curating a course on Data Privacy and Security for Bloomberg’s What Works Cities program.
After graduating our second pioneering cohort of students who went on to work as data scientists and entrepreneurs, we welcomed our largest incoming class of master’s students this fall.
Looking to the future, we are excited for our next Urban Tech Summit this fall focused on the increasingly crucial role of technology in the decarbonization of cities. Our research will continue to investigate the impact of AI in cities and the role of digital twins in aiding our understanding of how to optimize urban systems.
As I reflect on our three years of growth, change and challenges at the Urban Tech Hub, I am humbled by the people I’ve met, the research we’ve explored, and the programs our teams have produced. It’s my pleasure to invite you to peruse these pages and get a glimpse of how technology is shaping today’s and tomorrow’s cities.
Founding Director, Urban Tech Hub