Sallan News and Views

Sallan Foundation YouTube Curated Content

Nancy Anderson, Ph.D.

Getting Active On Passive House

June 18, 2015

By: Nancy Anderson, Ph.D.

I'm a fan of Passive House. Ever since visiting the top-to-bottom renovation job for an elegant 19th century home in Brooklyn Heights undertaken by architect Ken Levenson back in 2011, the potential for constructing — or in this case reconstructing — urban buildings to keep occupants really comfortable year round without boiler heating or air conditioning in every room has been my yard stick to measure all other climate-friendly buildings. Levenson's Snapshot column was the first introduction Sallan readers had to Passive House, and since then, Ken's been one very busy Passive House advocate.

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Constantine E. Kontokosta, Ph.D., PE

Data and the City: The Promise and Perils of Urban Informatics

July 07, 2015

By: Constantine E. Kontokosta, Ph.D., PE

While the marketing rhetoric around Smart Cities is replete with unfulfilled promises and the persistent use (and mis-use) of the term "big data" has generated confusion and distrust around potential applications, the reality remains that disruptive shifts in ubiquitous data collection — including mobile devices, GPS, social media, and synoptic video — and the ability to store, manage, and analyze massive datasets require the next generation of practitioners of urban policy and planning to have new capabilities that respond to these innovations. For students in the emerging fields of Urban Informatics and Civic Analytics, core competencies cross traditional boundaries of computer and data science, public policy and urban planning, and business and technology management. This results in requirements for both technical and non-technical (or non-computing) skills, as well as breadth and depth across informatics disciplines and domain applications. These include knowledge of programming (Python, R, etc.), data mining and management (Hadoop, MapReduce), applied mathematics and statistics, machine learning, and visualization (CartoDB, D3).

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