Cities Collaboratory

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Research Agenda

Through research collaborations that reflect the multidimensionality and interconnectedness of urban issues, the Cities Collab actively engages the opportunities inherent in new data sources and analytic technologies, and deliberately provoke innovative synergies. Our goal is to develop conceptual frameworks, research methods, and interventions aimed at enhancing the social, environmental, economic, and cultural health and resiliency of cities.

Current and Proposed Projects

Lake Union Laboratory (LULab):

Explores the overlapping and interdependent social, environmental, economic and technological dynamics of cities and urbanism, beginning with one city, Seattle, and one area, Lake Union, a district that reflects a microcosm of urban development and ecological change.

Northlake Project: What does it take to engage in collaborative research in urbanism? To research this question, we developed a collaborative graduate student research project led by our 2013-14 Graduate Student Team to create an online exhibit of Northlake (northern end of Lake Union) neighborhoods exploring a range of interdisciplinary research areas.

Curating Collaborative Research in the Digital Realm: What digital tools might enhance and expand, or even challenge urban research and practice? An initiative funded by the Simpson Center for the Humanities to bring together a cross-disciplinary team to explore the potential for digital platforms and tools to generate new transdisciplinary knowledge on urbanism and cities. The product of the team's collective work will be a dynamic digital publication of the LULab research and teaching generated over the past academic year. Participants are Kim England, Geography; Susan Kemp, Social Work; and Thaisa Way, Landscape Architecture.

Lake2Bay: How might collaborating with a community leadership team enrich faculty and student research in urban issues? What do UW faculty and students have to offer communities interested in re-imagining their futures? The goal of this project is to support the community-based Lake2Bay planning group's vision to help this area become "the healthiest urban space in the work to live, work, learn, study, create, visit, and play." To do this, the UW faculty will collaborate to explore ways of defining and operationalizing "neighborhood health" (social, environmental, physical, cultural) that draw on best practices. Participants include: Tad Hirsch, Design, CA&S; Thaisa Way, Landscape Architecture, CBE; and Ken Yocom, Landscape Architecture, CBE.

Capitol Hill Eco-District project: Partnering with Capital Hill Housing to develop health metrics for an eco-district that will reflect a vision for the future. Participants include: Andrew Dannenberg, School of Public Health; Sharon Sutton, Architecture; Susan Kemp, School of Social Work; Lynne Manzo, Landscape Architecture, CBE; and Ken Yocom, Landscape Architecture, CBE.

The Lake Union Digital Atlas:

With Simpson Center support, draws together existing digital data and resources to develop a comprehensive resource on Lake Union. Moving research to a digital platform fosters the sharing of data across the humanities, sciences, and professions that in turn engenders new forms of inquiry, methods, and knowledge generation. This, in turn, shapes potential future scenarios and interventions. The Lake Union Digital Atlas will include:

The Northlake Project: A collaborative graduate student project to create an online exhibit of Northlake.

The Mapped Lake: Compilation of maps, documents, and resources on Lake Union and its communities.

The WPA Lake: Digitization of the 1937 WPA survey photographs of Lake Union.

The South Lake Union Stories 2.0: Integrate King County records into the block-by-block digital exhibition.

The Monitored Lake: Collaboration with E-Science/ E-Urban to monitor current condition.

Community Partnerships:

Partnerships in development include the Lake2Bay project, the Capitol Hill Eco-District project, the West Campus Planning Framework, and the U District Partnership.

UW Partnerships:

The recently developed E-Science proposal for an Urban Science Initiative includes working with the Cities Collab as a means to bring the social sciences, humanities, and professions to the shaping of urban research through big data.

Supporting Transdisciplinary Collaboration:

Transforming the Map: Funded by the Simpson Center for the Humanities, this faculty and graduate student research seminar brings together research in the social sciences, humanities, and data science to address urban questions and discourses.

Lake Union Laboratory Faculty Seminar: A 2013-2014 faculty pro-seminar that included presentation of work in progress, shared reading and discussion, workshop sessions with local government, nonprofits, and practitioners.

Growing Future Scholars: The Cities Collab engages multi-disciplinary graduate research teams and undergraduate students through course assignments and projects.

Now Urbanism.org: Sawyer Seminar presentations and readings as a resource on urbanism and cities

Now Urbanism: Mapping the City: Annotated catalogue of current research on digital urbanisms

Public Engagement:

Cities Lecture Series 2014-2016 hosted by Cities Collab and funded by the Graduate School: Edgar Pieterse, University of Capetown, (Walker Ames Lecture); Janette Sadik-Khan (Danz Lecture), and Eric Avila, UCLA (Mangels Lecture)

2012-2013 Graduate School's Walker-Ames Lecture Series: Dolores Hayden, Yale University, and Anne Whiston Spirn, MIT.

Now Urbanism lectures (2010-2012): monthly symposia engaging 29 individual guest speakers with moderators and hosts drawn from across the University.

| Public Discourse: Now Urbanism | Teaching Domain: Lake Union Lab | Faculty Projects: Urban Research |