Urban Informatics Unit

The Urban Informatics Unit implements new methods to visualize, analyze, and design interactions between the built environment and human action.

The Urban Informatics Unit provides an integrated platform which creates new capabilities through:

  • Advanced Geospatial Design and built environment science
  • Integration of both virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) with new 3D models for creating simulated built environment scenarios
  • Community engagement and the implementation of cutting edge built environment sensors which will directly feed into 3D, AR, and VR urban models to create dynamic digital twins of existing neighborhoods and cities.

Cross-disciplinary Collaboration to Increase Community Resilience

Projections show that, globally, more people will live in areas that are vulnerable to issues such as sea level rise, depopulation, or natural disasters. Disasters and public health crises are a significant source of property loss, social disruption, and inequality.

Communities can reduce vulnerability while increasing social and physical resilience through research-driven, evidence-based planning, design, and policy development.

Through collaboration with other research groups, we will create a convergent research trust to:

  • Collect, compile and share built environment data
  • Engage communities to disseminate information and facilitate citizen science
  • Promote the convergence of research across disciplines through a big data analytical platform/demonstration facility
  • Advance STEM education and work force development

Problem Solving through Innovative Software Solutions

Our mission is to develop and support free and open source software tools for reproducible problem solving in the natural, built, and virtual environments. These tools will be synced within a new GeoDesign core of the Urban Informatics Unit.

The computing core of the Urban Informatics Unit is organized around six key modeling approaches:

  • Representation models
  • process models
  • evaluation models
  • change models
  • impact models
  • decision models for urban space

Program Leads

View profile

Xinyue Ye

Harold L. Adams Endowed Professor of Urban Planning; Director of Center for Geospatial Sciences, Applications, and Technology

Email Xinyue Ye
View profile

Galen Newman

Professor and Department Head

979.862.4320 Email Galen Newman