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Ben Levine

Executive Director, MetroLab Network

Ben Levine is the executive director of MetroLab Network. Previously he was a policy adviser at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where he was responsible for policy development pertaining to state and local government finance, with a focus on infrastructure policy. He worked closely with the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy on the organization and launch of MetroLab Network. Prior to that Ben worked at Morgan Stanley. He is a graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.


March 26, 2021

Miami Climate Change, Affordable Housing Plans Driven by Data

Work from of the University of Miami’s Office of Civic Engagement plots the city’s affordable housing against anticipated sea level change to provide decision-makers with a comprehensive look at housing needs.

February 24, 2021

Data Project May Drive Policy for Hyperlocal Flooding in NYC

Work in New York City collects systematic data on street-level flooding, partnering with local agencies to design real-time flood sensors and an open code that other cities can build on.

January 29, 2021

‘Data Stories’ Track COVID Impact, Inform Policy in Boston

Researchers collected survey and online data to tell the story of how the pandemic affected Boston’s diverse communities and how urban policymakers can use that information to navigate the path forward.

December 22, 2020

NYC Court Summons Redesigned With Human Behavior in Mind

Using human-centered design principles and behavioral nudges, researchers revised court summons for low-level offenders and instituted a text messaging reminder system, increasing court appearance rates.

November 24, 2020

Data on Voter Behavior and COVID-19 Fuels Student Research

Undergraduates from Rice University worked with the Harris County, Texas, Clerk’s office to learn how the pandemic affected in-voter preferences, like mail-in and drive-through voting, and impacted election outcomes.

October 28, 2020

Mapping Tool Visualizes COVID Risk of Different-Size Events

A project out of Georgia Tech has developed an online tool that could help state and local governments assess the risk of coronavirus spread at gatherings from dinner parties to protests in their regions.

September 29, 2020

Comic Book Bridges Gap Around Education in AI, Ethics

The Data, Responsibly project, based out of New York University, has taken its research on responsible data management and expanded it to improve messaging around what it means to collect and use data ethically.

August 27, 2020

Project Uses AI to Maximize Meal Delivery to Students in Need

Work at Carnegie Mellon University originally intended to use machine learning to develop cost-effective bus routes for K-12 students in Allegheny County, Pa., pivoted amid COVID-19 to focus on food-insecure families.

July 17, 2020

Using AI to Assist Those Experiencing Homelessness in Austin

A partnership between the University of Texas at Austin and the city looks at how AI can identify residents at risk of experiencing homelessness, as well as helping those currently in need find access to services.

June 26, 2020

Study Compares Urban Quality of Life and COVID-19 Rates

Researchers at the University of Chicago explore a local application of the Human Development Index, looking at rates of COVID-19 across neighborhoods and how that can inform public-sector decision-making.

May 15, 2020

Real-Time Risk Assessment Tool Could Aid Reopening Measures

An AI-driven program from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland aims to give individuals and governments a real-time picture of the risk of coronavirus transmission in a given area based on state and local data.

April 23, 2020

Cities Partner on Model Policy for Handling Municipal Data

Kansas City, in collaboration with the University of Missouri and other local governments, has created a model to tackle the policies and procedures needed to manage sensitive data in communities as tech use grows.

March 20, 2020

Data-Driven Research Aims to Solve First/Last-Mile Problem

Together with the city of Atlanta and Georgia Tech, the Socially Aware Mobility Lab uses data and machine learning to look at how on-demand multimodal transit could improve traffic congestion and mobility inequalities.

February 21, 2020

Is 3-D Visualization Software the Future of Urban Planning?

Research from Carnegie Mellon University, together with the Pittsburgh Department of City Planning, uses virtual reality and 3-D technology to help urban designers and other stakeholders better plan cities. 

January 22, 2020

Predictive Analytics ID Youth Risk Factors, Improve Outcomes

Together with Fairfax County, Va., Health and Human Services, the Mason DataLab at George Mason University is building an analytics model to increase the likelihood of physically, mentally and socially healthier youth.

December 10, 2019

N.C. County Takes Preventive Approach to Opioid Crisis

The Guildford County Solution to the Opioid Problem is a multi-organization community effort to not only treat opioid overdoses and addictions, but also to get out ahead of them before those overdoses occur.

November 14, 2019

Mapping Tool IDs Potential Land for Affordable Housing

Land Access for Neighborhood Development is a mapping platform that allows Miami policymakers to visualize where lots are available near transit that could become housing options for underserved populations.

October 22, 2019

South Bend, Ind., Works to Cut Lead Contamination in Homes

A program at the Center for Civic Innovation at Notre Dame is collecting data on contamination from lead paint in homes, and has created at-home testing kits it will then automate to improve health outcomes.

September 23, 2019

Chattanooga Smart Corridor Hot Bed for Real-Time Analytics

A collaboration among the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, the city and other partners drives work behind the MLK Smart Corridor, used to test new technologies and generate data-driven outcomes.

August 20, 2019

Data-Driven Health Care Benefits Underserved Populations

A program from the University of Florida and Gainesville Fire Rescue tracks patient metrics and allows for real-time communication between emergency workers and hospitals, reducing costs of frequent EMS users.

July 19, 2019

Kansas City Takes Data-Driven Approach to Addressing Blight

The Abandoned to Vacant project, a collaboration between the city and the University of Missouri-Kansas City, uses open data to map abandoned houses and give potential buyers a sense of the surrounding neighborhood.

June 21, 2019

Network Brings Together Universities, Cities for Innovation

The Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities – Network is a nonprofit that facilitates 38 programs at universities across the country and their work with their communities to generate high-tech solutions.

May 13, 2019

Data Drives Down Nashville’s Emergency Response Times

Together with the Vanderbilt Initiative for Smart Cities Operation and Research, the Nashville Fire Department and the city’s IT agency created a tool that uses predictive modeling to forecast emergency response times.

April 23, 2019

Houston Works Toward Data-Driven Disaster Response

Together with Rice University and other local institutions, the Texas city is collaborating with residents and stakeholders to plan for future flood mitigation given the devastation seen during Hurricane Harvey.

March 27, 2019

Planning Tool Tracks Climate Change Effect on Infrastructure

Together with the University of Colorado Boulder, the city and county of Denver has developed a stormwater planning tool that uses GIS and data forecasting to inform policymaking ahead of predicted rainfall increase.

February 19, 2019

Urban, Social Data Helps Reduce Fire and Safety Risk

Together with Portland State University’s School of Urban Studies and Planning, Portland, Ore.’s Fire and Rescue Bureau is strategically using public data to reduce emergency call volume and improve city vibrancy.

January 16, 2019

Real-Time Data Analytics Aims to Reduce Traffic Fatalities

Researchers at the University of Central Florida, in partnership with the city of Orlando, are using real-time traffic data to uncover strategies for reducing car crashes and ultimately creating fatality-free roads.

December 18, 2018

Real-Time Data Helps Philadelphia Improve Green Design

A partnership between the Philadelphia Water Department and Drexel University’s Sustainable Water Resource Engineering Lab uses sensors on green infrastructure in order to utilize city storm water more efficiently. 

November 9, 2018

St. Paul, Minn., Modernizes Stormwater Infrastructure

In collaboration with the University of Minnesota, the city of St. Paul is rethinking its approach to stormwater management through the use of green infrastructure and public-private partnerships.

October 11, 2018

Rural Wi-Fi Project Improves Wildfire Monitoring in Southern California

Originally intended to extend Internet access to far-flung areas, a collaboration between UC San Diego and San Diego County has been used to monitor and respond to several recent wildfires.

September 14, 2018

Analytics Tool Helps Improve Traffic Planning in Austin

The city, in partnership with the University of Texas at Austin, is using video analytics to assess the city's traffic and road usage patterns to gather better transportation data.

August 17, 2018

Research Predicts Adoption Rates of Connected Autonomous Vehicles

In partnership with the city of Memphis, the FedEx Institute of Technology at the University of Memphis has developed a method for determining the potential of connected autonomous vehicle adoption.

July 13, 2018

App Aims to Improve Family Services Access in Chicago

NowPow, an app developed in partnership with Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, is being utilized by researchers to assess the use of technology to improve the children and family services system.

June 18, 2018

University Students Create Spatial Analysis Tools to Help Cities Do More with Data

Graduate students from the University of Pennsylvania's Master of Urban Spatial Analytics Practicum are working with city officials in Philadelphia, Providence, R.I., and Minneapolis to develop data science tools to improve safety, health and quality of life for residents.

May 11, 2018

Data Analytics Helps Boston Schools Better Serve Students

Boston Public Schools have partnered with the Boston Area Research Initiative to create an Opportunity Index, which captures metrics about students that typical education statistics might miss.

April 3, 2018

Air Quality Sensor Pilot Offers Lessons for Other IoT Installations

Portland, Ore., and Portland State University partner on sensors to improve air quality monitoring and delve into how other cities and municipalities can explore their own sensor projects.

March 20, 2018

Universities Partner to Foster IoT Development in Cleveland

With the Internet of Things Collaborative, Case Western Reserve and Cleveland State universities work together to use their resources to drive innovation in the region.

February 12, 2018

Ohio State University, Partners Develop 'Smart Paint' to Help the Visually Impaired Navigate Cities

The latest installment of MetroLab's Innovation of the Month series highlights how a team at Ohio State University, along with the city of Columbus and private companies, is using smart, connected tech to help the blind and visually impaired.

January 25, 2018

Pittsburgh Uses Data to Predict Fire Risk

The fifth installment of MetroLab’s Innovation of the Month series highlights how Pittsburgh’s Bureau of Fire is using predictive analytics to help their department prioritize commercial building inspections in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University.

December 8, 2017

Urban Package Delivery Heads to the Classroom

The fourth installment of MetroLab's Innovation of the Month series highlights how a partnership between UPS and Georgetown University created a new learning experience for future urban planners.

November 7, 2017

University Researchers Use 'Fake' Data for Social Good

The third installment of MetroLab's Innovation of the Month series highlights how researchers are addressing the challenges of privacy, data storage and usability, and creating synthetic data sets to improve social outcomes.

October 13, 2017

Atlanta's Smart Corridor to Serve as "Living Lab" for Smart Transportation

In the second installment of MetroLab's Innovation of the Month series, we recognize the city of Atlanta and Georgia Institute of Technology, whose partnership is transforming one of the city's key transit arteries into a smart cities test bed.

September 8, 2017

NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress Tackles Bus Reliability, Harmful Landlord Practices, with Data

In a new series called MetroLab's Innovation of the Month, we examine innovative data projects between universities and local governments.

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