New York, NY (March 15, 1999) - An interdisciplinary team of researchers from New York University has won a grant of $500,000 to investigate the impact of information and telecommunications technologies on the future of cities and urban regions. NYU’s research team was selected by the National Science Foundation from more than 100 applicants from across the nation.

The project is designed to achieve four objectives:

Develop new indicators of urban economic activity based on the flow of information between and within major cities;

Determine how information technologies can be used to strengthen the economic and social structure of urban communities;

Assess the long-term impact of telecommunications systems on the transportation infrastructure and physical environment of cities and metropolitan regions;

Analyze the way in which households use information technology.

This project builds upon earlier work of Professor Mitchell Moss, director of the Taub Urban Research Center at NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and a pioneer in studying the role of new information technology in urban development. During the past decade, the Taub Urban Research Center has published reports on telecommunications and office location, alternative methods for measuring Internet activity, and the development of information infrastructure in the United States. In the new project, Professor Moss is collaborating with Professor Rae Zimmerman, director of the Institute for Civil Infrastructure Systems (ICIS) at Wagner. ICIS is a principal center for the exchange of information and ideas about civil infrastructure systems and their role in modern communities.

The project brings together an interdisciplinary team that combines expertise in urban planning, environmental science, engineering, computer science, anthropology, and public policy. Researchers from NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Anthropology and Africana Studies will collaborate in the project. It will be directed by Professor Mitchell Moss of NYU’s Wagner School; Professor Bhubaneswar Mishra, Department of Computer Science; Urban Planning Professors Rae Zimmerman and Ingrid Ellen of Wagner; and Professor Steven Gregory, Department of Anthropology and Africana Studies.

“We are pleased that the National Science Foundation is providing support for this important study,” said Jo Ivey Boufford, M.D., Dean of the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. “Not only does this project build on the work of the Taub Urban Research Center and ICIS, but it also applies the academic expertise and perspectives of public service, computer science and anthropology to gain a better understanding of the impact of communications on the public and on decision makers in shaping the future of our great cities.”

Established in 1938, the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service educates future leaders of public, nonprofit, and health institutions as well as private organizations serving the public sector.

Ingrid Gould Ellen is an assistant professor of planning and public administration. Her research centers on urban social and economic policy, with a particular focus on housing and community development.

Steven Gregory is an assistant professor of Africana studies and anthropology. His major research interest is African American political activism.

Bhubaneswar Mishra is a professor of computer science. His research interests include robotics, mathematical and theoretical computer science and medical computing.

Mitchell L. Moss is the Henry Hart Rice Professor of Urban Policy and director of the Taub Urban Research Center. His research puts special emphasis on communications technology and the future of urban regions. The Taub Urban Research Center at NYU’s Wagner School explores issues and challenges affecting cities and metropolitan regions. The Center issues reports and conducts forums that include participants from government, business, nonprofit organizations, and the academic community. The Center is named for Henry Taub, a trustee of New York University, who has been a major benefactor of the Center. Additional funding for research is provided through grants from corporations, foundations, and government agencies.

Rae Zimmerman is a professor of planning and public administration and director of NYU’s Institute for Civil Infrastructure Systems. The Institute integrates the perspectives of the applied social science and engineering disciplines to support transportation, water, energy, communication, and waste management systems. ICIS is funded by a five-year grant from the National Science Foundation and has partnering agreements with Cornell University, Polytechnic University of New York, and the University of Southern California.

The research results of the study will be conveyed throughout the course of the project, in scholarly publications, at professional conferences, and through the Taub Urban Research Center website,

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