The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Friday, 25 April 2014 11:42cat

Hudson Yards To Be The World’s Largest Quantified Community

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A rendering of the Hudson Yards development A rendering of the Hudson Yards development Sergi Mateo

Hudson Yards is the largest private real estate development in the history of the United States, and its goal is to help Manhattan’s underdeveloped West Side grow.  Once finished, the site will include more than 17 million square feet of commercial and residential space.  New York University is forming a partnership with Hudson Yard’s developers to collect data about the area’s residents and visitors. This will make Hudson Yards the first quantified community in the country. NYU would like to learn how New Yorkers interact with their urban environment in order to improve cities across the country.

According to Hudson Yards Master Plan, by 2018 the site will include 5 state-of-the-art office towers, more than 100 shops, 20 restaurants, approximately 5,000 residences, a unique cultural space, 14 acres of public open space, a 750-seat public school and a 150-room luxury hotel—all offering unparalleled amenities and easy access to transportation for residents, employees and guests. Related Cos and Oxford Properties, the project’s developers, estimate that 24 million people will visit Hudson Yards annually. Construction will be carried out in two phases beginning with the Eastern Yard and then proceeding to the Western Yard.  Related Cos and Oxford Properties are hoping to capitalize of the growth surrounding Hudson Yards, over five times the rate of Manhattan, and turn Hudson Yards into the “epicenter” of Manhattan’s West Side.

While the details are still being worked out, NYU researchers plan to collect information on pedestrian traffic, air quality, energy production and consumption, and even the health and activity levels of workers and residents. They plan on installing thousands of sensors throughout the community to collect their data. The researchers will then analyze the data and, depending on the success of Hudson Yards, could use the data-collection program as a model for cities across the world.

Two items that NYU is especially interested in are the development’s central-waste management system and on-site power generation plant. The waste management system will send waste down a pneumatic tube to enter into a central pick up location. These two features offer unique ways to see how people interact with their environment.  Jay Cross, president of Related Hudson Yards, believes, “Hudson Yards will be the most connected, measured and technologically advanced digital district in the nation.”

It is likely that some people will voluntarily opt-in to the program and use their smart-phone to collect data about themselves. Most of the data, though, will come from building systems. NYU researchers will receive help from a technical team with experience dealing with large amounts of data. Jay Cross believes that most people will want to be part of data collection.  While there will be people who do not like the program, the NYU team believes that moving forward cities will be increasingly monitored to help address the needs of the urban population.

Sources: Hudson YardsCrains New York

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