City of New York and 100 Resilient Cities Host ‘CoLab’ on Power of Data to Improve City Response to 21st Century Challenges

Today’s “Harnessing the Power of Data” Collaboration Workshop (CoLab) Will Convene Partners, Subject Matter Advisors, and City Representatives to Develop Innovative Data Solutions which Catalyze Urban Resilience

New York City – Today, NYC Chief Information Officer Samir Saini; Jainey Bavishi, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Recovery & Resiliency (ORR); and 100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) launched a three-day CoLab on Harnessing the Power of Data to Catalyze Urban Resilience. The CoLab, a new tool from 100RC, aims to develop cross-disciplinary solutions for New York City’s enterprise-wide data platform concept, and for utilizing urban data to mitigate those acute shocks and chronic stresses which strain the city’s resilience. The CoLab runs October 22-24 at the Downtown Brooklyn offices of the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT).

New York City’s long history of engaging in data sharing initiatives has only accelerated since 2012’s landmark Open Data Law, which calls on the city to make all “public” data freely available on a single web portal by December 31, 2018; DoITT’s Citywide Data Center and larger Data as a Service strategy serve as the most recent iterations. An enterprise-wide data platform, once in place, would allow New York City to standardize and seamlessly share data. The Data CoLab offers a unique opportunity to build the cross-agency support necessary for establishing citywide data management systems – and to leverage them toward significant resilience-building initiatives.

“Today’s CoLab is the first of many collaborative engagements that will assist in the development of a world-class data sharing platform for New York City agencies,” said Samir Saini, Commissioner of the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications. “We are thrilled to be partnering with 100 Resilient Cities on this initiative as we explore more ways data can be leveraged to overcome new challenges and to build better services for the New Yorkers we serve.”

A 100RC CoLab is a collaborative, expedited process between municipal government, subject matter experts, and members of the 100RC Platform of Partners. The 100RC Platform is a curated suite of resilience-building tools and services, provided by partners from the private, public, academic, and non-profit sectors at no direct cost to member cities. 100RC Partners at the New York City CoLab include the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, with additional collaboration from the civic tech and academic sectors, as well as city entities ranging from NYC Emergency Management to the Departments of City Planning and of Finance. Representatives from fellow 100RC member cities including San Francisco, Greater Manchester, and Cape Town will also be in attendance to contribute their cities’ experience with data-driven resilience.

“By harnessing the power of data, we can make New York City even stronger and more resilient,” said Jainey Bavishi, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency. “With smart multi-disciplinary collaboration, we can better develop innovative solutions to climate change impacts.”

A master data platform that supports inter-agency communication could tie together all city platforms into one operating system, thereby improving overall operations, service delivery, and, in turn, the city’s ability to mitigate resilience shocks and stresses. Of the 49 urban resilience strategies that have been published within 100RC’s global network, 20% of all initiatives are related to the creation or enhancement of city-wide data management systems to build resilience. Cities around the world are starting to explore operating systems with varying functionality, and an increasing number of companies are bringing solutions to market.

The Data CoLab will draw on these and other good practices and innovations to help New York City develop a world-class citywide data platform, as well as create a body of tactical knowledge and replicable solutions that can be scaled worldwide.

“As cities confront the challenges of the 21st Century, centralized data platforms will allow them to swiftly and efficiently address wide-ranging issues from disaster response to quality education and health services,” said Michael Berkowitz, President of 100 Resilient Cities. “This week’s CoLab is an exciting opportunity to break down some of the barriers seen in cities and work toward innovative solutions which defy any one sector or discipline. By coming together today, we are putting New York City on the cutting edge of data-driven resilience efforts.”

Outcomes from the CoLab will support implementation of One New York: The Plan for a Strong and a Just City (OneNYC). Issued by Mayor Bill de Blasio in April 2015, OneNYC specifically seeks to expand the City’s internal data integration capacity as well as build an integrated data platform for citywide use, for goals as far-reaching as expediting service delivery to reducing crime, improving emergency preparedness and air quality to developing the city’s workforce. New York City was selected to host the CoLab based on this work, out of an applicant pool of eleven 100RC member cities.

For more information, please contact:

Dept. of Information Technology and Telecommunications: Stephanie Raphael (sraphael@doitt.nyc.gov; 718-403-6792)
Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency: Phil Ortiz (POrtiz@cityhall.NYC.gov; 917-238-0658)
100 Resilient Cities: Nicole Bohrer-Kaplan (NBohrer@100RC.org; 646-612-7177)

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About 100 Resilient Cities—Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation 

100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) helps cities around the world become more resilient to social, economic, and physical challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. 100RC provides this assistance through: funding for a Chief Resilience Officer in each of our cities who will lead the resilience efforts; resources for drafting a resilience strategy; access to private sector, public sector, academic, and NGO resilience tools; and membership in a global network of peer cities to share best practices and challenges. For more information, visit: www.100ResilientCities.org.

About the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT)
DoITT is the technology core of New York City government, working with over 100 city agencies and entities to deliver the IT products and services they need to serve and empower New Yorkers and keep our five boroughs safe, strong, and vibrant. For more information, visit nyc.gov/DoITT or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.