Urban Data Lab uses computational data science and spatial analysis to explore urban transportation patterns around the world, critically interrogate how big data reshapes housing affordability, and leverage technology platforms for more just, collaborative city planning.
Urban big data and technology have explosively reshaped city planning in recent years. At the USC Urban Data Lab, students study these phenomena and their repercussions for urban living, using methods spanning computational data science, machine learning, and spatial modeling and analysis.
Recent and ongoing lab projects include:
Urban Data Lab is currently funding students researching transportation and pollution in Los Angeles, walkable accessibility around the world, and open source tool development. You can read more about our research interests and recent work.
Urban Data Lab is looking for grad students at the master’s and PhD levels. We particularly seek students with strong coding and data science skills who can hit the ground running in the USC Urban Data Lab. However these skills are not prerequisites. If you attend USC, we will teach you coding and spatial data science with Python from the ground-up primarily across two courses: PPD534 (Data, Evidence, and Communication for the Public Good) and PPD599 (Advanced Urban Analytics).
USC’s Department of Urban Planning and Spatial Analysis features a strong faculty in urban data science, critical data studies, and transportation/housing analytics—including Professor Annette Kim’s work on critical cartography and machine learning in the Spatial Analysis Lab, Professor Lisa Schweitzer’s work on social media and data ethics, and much more. We seek students from all backgrounds. If you’re an activist or urbanist with no tech experience, we will teach you data/tech skills to effectively apply your knowledge to serve the community. If you’re a coder or scientist interested in urbanism and planning, we will teach you how to unlock your skills for more equitable cities.
Geoff Boeing is Assistant Professor in the Department of Urban Planning and Spatial Analysis at USC’s Sol Price School of Public Policy, and the Director of the USC Urban Data Lab.