The Urban Big Data Centre (UBDC) was established by the UK Economic and Social Research Council to address social, economic and environmental challenges facing cities.

The UBDC brings together interdisciplinary expertise of urban social scientists and data scientists from the University of Glasgow and six partner universities of Edinburgh, Bristol, Cambridge, Reading, Sheffield and Illinois-Chicago to seek solutions in addressing such challenges. 

We support strategies for urban planning and policy-making, business innovations, behavioural interventions for sustainable and engaged urban living, and advocacy and citizen participation relating to a wide spectrum of urban sectors such as economic development, transport, housing, education, environment and other areas.  

Our team consists of a core staff of 6 administrators, 45 academic researchers and a full-time staff of 5 IT and scientific computing officers. 

Our academic researchers are undertaking innovative research projects, covering methodology such as big data management and urban indicators for policymaking, as well as a range of urban topics such as housing, transportation, migration and more.

The work of the UBDC also focuses on methods and technologies to manage, link and analyse massive amounts of multi-sectoral urban big data. This includes a data portal for open and safeguarded data, allowing users from diverse backgrounds access to our data for their own research and analyses.

Additionally, the UBDC provides a range of research support services, training and capacity-building to a wide range of users, including public events such as workshops, seminars and training sessions. 

If you are interested in learning more about the UBDC or becoming a partner, please contact us.



Our premises 

The Urban Big Data Centre is located in Glasgow, Scotland in a newly refurbished accommodation within the University of Glasgow's main campus in the heart of the West End, with excellent transport links.

Comprising two Victorian terrace houses that have been linked and refurbished to a very high standard, the accommodation is equipped to house up to 30 staff, including the UBDC Director, academic lecturers and postdoctoral research assistants, PhD students and internships as well as a range of administrative staff to support the full spectrum of work of the Centre. 

On the first floor, a large conference room, comfortably seating 16 people, is supported by state of the art AV and video-conferencing facilities. This meeting space can be rearranged to accommodate more people to provide lecture-style seating for UBDC events.

There are also three offices within the Centre designed expressly to provide 'hot desk' accommodation and to encourage an atmosphere of regular visits from researchers and other Centre visitors.