The Circular City

Making data more accessible to drive development, improve quality of life, and support new innovation.

By Starling Childs

Downtown Brooklyn partners with startups & New Lab to develop tools that analyze local conditions around the neighborhood and make data more accessible to drive development, improve quality of life, and support new innovation.

In 2018, Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and Ginkgo were asked to participate in the "Circular City" program by local innovation hub New Lab ( The program brought together entrepreneurs, city leaders, corporate partners, and university innovators to tackle urban challenges with an initial focus on researching a pilot area in particular; the Downtown Brooklyn neighborhood. As an ongoing program, Circular City aims to accelerate the development, deployment and partnerships necessary to transform the way emerging technology positively impacts life in cities.

Ginkgo was used as the backend to develop a custom Downtown Brooklyn Dashboard demo.

For the “District Dashboard” demo, Ginkgo brought together data from a variety of sources used to analyze Downtown Brooklyn, including several datasets from the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership's own Ginkgo account. This dashboard was created to visualize the data generated and studied as part of The Circular City program. The interactive interface enables users to analyze and compare data about the neighborhood to asses local conditions and help direct civic leaders, researchers, businesses, residents and other stakeholders to address challenges related to topics including mobility, economic development, sustainability and resilience.

In addition to the interactive dashboard, one of the main outcomes of the research program was a report with contribution in part from NYU-based GovLab. GovLab’s contribution outlined several possible use cases and key value propositions for “circular data”. As part of this work, GovLab developed a “Data Value Canvas” to help readers understand the different facets of the use cases.

Though it focuses on data provided that was used in this particular deployment of a District Dashboard, the use cases demonstrate several methodologies and approaches to deploying data and analytics to realize solutions to various urban challenges and calls to action. The report also examines the potential for further value creation resulting from the integration of additional data sets being brought to the table. Most importantly, it also provides a methodology that could be used to assess the value of the circular data ecosystem.

For a full version of the report, visit:

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