news | 11.11.2020 |

Urban Big Data Centre receives further award from UKRI-ESRC

The Urban Big Data Centre (UBDC) is delighted to announce a funding award of over £850K from UKRI-ESRC to support further development of our data service during the current year.

This comes after a major award from UKRI-ESRC in April which extended UBDC’s data service until March 2022.

UBDC’s mission is to promote the use of big data and innovative research methods to improve social, economic and environmental well-being in cities. Our data service, part of the UK’s national research infrastructure, helps achieve this by providing access to a range of big data resources for academics and other researchers working on diverse urban challenges. Since 2014, the data service has received requests from researchers at nearly 300 institutions, spanning 32 countries with many more accessing our open data collections and other resources.

This latest award will result in further enhancements to the data service, including:

  • extending work on the analysis of CCTV images to provide new tools to measure urban activity and footfall in collaboration with the University of Newcastle’s Urban Observatory;
  • funding significant acquisitions of mobile phone data to meet the needs of transport researchers and others interested in urban mobility; and
  • supporting the integration of UBDC’s existing housing and property data collections.

Professor Nick Bailey, Director of UBDC, says of this recent award:

“The value of good quality data has never been higher, as policy makers struggle to deal with the consequences of the pandemic and ensure we ‘build back better’. New forms of data – big data – have a key role to play, but there are enormous barriers to accessing them, particularly financial, legal and technical challenges. UBDC’s data service plays a key role in expanding access and enabling vital research which could not otherwise be done. We are delighted to have UKRI-ESRC’s further endorsement and support.”