Center for Urban Science + Progress

New York City's Leader in Urban Science

The Center for Urban Science + Progress (CUSP) is an interdisciplinary center dedicated to the application of science, technology, engineering, math, and social sciences in service of urban communities across the globe.

Founded as a partnership between NYU and the City of New York, CUSP leads research, educational, and entrepreneurial initiatives that advance the science of cities. By applying novel insights to urban issues, we develop data- and technology-driven approaches that drive positive impact. With an additional focus on training future leaders, CUSP offers interdisciplinary academic programs in applied urban science and informatics for graduate students and professionals.

CUSP also engages with stakeholders across city agencies, start-ups, industry players, community-based organizations, and nonprofits to address urgent socioeconomic, environmental, and infrastructural challenges. The center’s ultimate objective is to improve urban quality of life by using data to innovate and refine inclusive, equitable, and sustainable practices for cities everywhere.

NYU CUSP offers a Master of Science and Online Advanced Certificate in Applied Urban Science and Informatics, as well as a Doctoral Track in Urban Science.

Each year, CUSP graduate students partner with sponsors and faculty members to collaborate on a two-semester project that seeks to address a critical urban issue or research problem.

We develop and integrate data analytics and technologies to conduct interdisciplinary research in the service of urban communities across the globe.

Calling all urban professionals, researchers, leaders, alumni, and students! Get involved at CUSP and start creating an impact from day one.

What is Urban Science?

Just like cities themselves, urban science is a field that is constantly changing and requires many different perspectives. At its core, urban science studies how cities operate, how they grow, and how they can be improved–all using data and evidence-based practices. At CUSP, we break this down into different methodologies. Sensing technology allows researchers to collect a city’s data (i.e. sound scapes, flood patterns, energy usage, spreading of disease) in novel and creative ways. Informatics practitioners analyze that data to formulate computational insights about the challenge at hand. Complexity researchers can then create models to make predictions about a city’s potential future. Sensing, informatics, and complexity can help to inform policy and decision-makers at the city level. Specifically, CUSP focuses on using technology to impact urban health, infrastructures, and environmental concerns. 

A graphic showing Urban Science as a circular cycle of Methods (sensing), leading to informatics and complexity, leading to Policy. i.e. Research into Governance


Student Resources

Student organizations, course prep materials, career centers and more are all available to CUSP graduate students.

People at CUSP

Faculty, Researchers, Staff, and Administration at the Center for Urban Science + Progress