Constantine Kontokosta

Associate Professor of Urban Science and Planning, Marron Institute; Director, Urban Intelligence Lab; Director, Civic Analytics; Associated Faculty, Department of Civil and Urban Engineering and CUSP

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Constantine E. Kontokosta, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Urban Science and Planning and Director of the Civic Analytics program at the NYU Marron Institute of Urban Management. He also directs the Urban Intelligence Lab and holds cross-appointments at the Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) and the Department of Civil and Urban Engineering (CUE). He is affiliated faculty at the Wagner School of Public Service, Visiting Professor of Computer Science at the University of Warwick (UK), and a Senior Scholar at the New York Academy of Medicine. Previously, he served as the inaugural Deputy Director of CUSP and Assistant Professor of Urban Informatics at CUSP and CUE, where he was part of the Center’s founding leadership team and designed and launched the first graduate program in urban informatics. He is the founding Principal Investigator of the Quantified Community research initiative that integrates hyperlocal urban sensors with city-scale data analytics to understand neighborhood dynamics and well-being, and is one of the largest community-driven IoT projects in New York City. He is a 2017 recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER Award for his research in urban informatics for sustainable cities.

Trained in urban planning and computational methods (Columbia), finance and economics (NYU), and systems science and engineering (UPenn), Constantine brings an inter-disciplinary perspective to urban science that integrates fundamental research with impact-driven, use-inspired needs. His work leverages large-scale data with computational methods to understand and drive change in energy efficiency and climate policy, neighborhood change and the impacts of urban development, and community-driven air quality monitoring and environmental justice. Recent projects include research with NYC311 and Kansas City to measure bias in citizen complaint reporting for predictive analytics; with a homeless shelter provider to apply machine learning algorithms to identify at-risk homeless families; and with the City of New York, Washington, DC, and the UN to leverage large-scale data analytics for building energy and climate policy. Constantine’s research groups — the Civic Analytics Program and the Urban Intelligence Lab — are motivated by a desire to bring evidence to policy-making, to democratize knowledge through information transparency, and to uncover discrimination and bias in data-driven decision-making.

Constantine’s research is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), MacArthur Foundation, Sloan Foundation, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, among others, and he has received several honors for his work, including the IBM Faculty Award, the Google IoT Research Award, the UN Data for Climate Action Challenge Award,  the Goddard Junior Faculty Fellowship, the Charles Abrams Award for Social Justice Research, and a NYU Award for Teaching Excellence. Constantine has published more than 70 peer-reviewed publications in leading academic journals – in fields ranging from urban planning to signal processing – and has two forthcoming books on urban analytics and data-driven climate action. His research has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, FastCompany, CityLab, Wired, CNN, NPR, and other media outlets. He holds a PhD, M.Phil, and M.S. from Columbia University, a M.S. from New York University, and a B.S.E. from the University of Pennsylvania.

He has served on several city and federal advisory committees and the boards of the UNEP Sustainable Buildings and Climate Council, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, and as Vice Chair and Commissioner of the Suffolk County (NY) Planning Commission. In addition to his academic work, Constantine is an accomplished entrepreneur.

Research Interests: Urban Science and Informatics

Columbia University
PhD, Urban Planning (Minor: Econometrics)

Columbia University
MPhil, Urban Planning

Columbia University
MS, Urban Planning; Quantitative Analytics

New York University
MS, Real Estate Finance and Economics

University of Pennsylvania
BSE, Systems Engineering - Civil


2017 NSF CAREER Award

2017 Goddard Junior Faculty Fellowship

2017 Microsoft Azure Research Award

2016 Google IoT Research Award

2016 Faculty Engineer-in-Residence, NYU Incuabtors

2015  Best Paper Award, Bloomberg Data for Good Exchange

2014  IBM Faculty Award
2012  Elected to Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors
2012  Teaching Excellence Award, New York University (SPS)
2010  Outstanding Service Award, New York University (SPS)
2010, 2012 Climate, Buildings, and Behavior Scholarship, Garrison Institute
2009-2014 Fulbright Senior Specialist, J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board/CEIS
2009-2010 C. Lowell Harriss Dissertation Fellowship, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
2009-2010 Dissertation Research Award, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Columbia University
2008-2010 Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant, US Department of Housing and Urban Development
2005-2010 University Fellowship (5-year award), Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Columbia University
2007 Graduate Student Scholarship, American Society of Civil Engineers / Engineers without Borders USA
2006  New Scholar Workshop, Journal of Planning Education and Research
2005 Charles Abrams Award for Best Thesis, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, Columbia University
2001-2003 Dean’s Fellowship (multi-year, merit-based award), New York University

 


Current Projects, Research Labs, and Groups