UChicago and Argonne get grant for urban planning

The two institutions will create a new Urban Center for Computation and Data.

By Jennifer Standish

Researchers at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory will be discovering ways to improve urban planning with a $600,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, according to the Computation Institute (CI).

The grant will go towards funding the newly established Urban Center for Computation and Data (UrbanCCD), an initiative that will bring together researchers from various Chicago Institutions, city officials, and Chicago enterprises, to gather under a subset center of CI.

The Center’s work will consist of using urban data and computer model simulations to examine the potential effects of policy and development decisions on the city and its residents. This research will be used to predict and intervene against the negative effects of rapid urbanization on areas such as unemployment, health care, crime, transportation, and pollution.

To ensure that the center will have access to the data it needs, Mayor Rahm Emanuel signed an executive order earlier this week mandating that city agencies publish their data sets on a weekly basis. Data from the city will be organized through the Urban Research Coordination Network (USRCN), the first major project of the UrbanCCD.

The CI is a joint research initiative by the University and Argonne National Laboratory that uses computational and informatics approaches to advance scientific research.