Circular City

Circular City is a New Lab program launched in 2018 with the NYCEDC that brings together entrepreneurs, city leaders, corporate partners, and university innovators to tackle urban challenges. The program aims to accelerate the development, deployment and partnerships necessary to transform the way emerging technology positively impacts life in cities.

In its first year, the program focused on ‘circular data,’ a new concept coined to describe the collection, production, and exchange of data, and business insights, between a series of collaborators around a shared set of inquiries related to the future of cities. The conditions that need to be in place to safely, ethically, and efficiently extrapolate the highest potential value from data are what this program aimed to uncover.

Through a series of stakeholder interviews representing a cross-section of New York City, the topics of economic development, mobility, and resilience & sustainability emerged as the most pressing urban challenges suited to address in this new program, you’ll see them explored from multiple angles throughout The Circular City research and pilots.

Year One


The abundance of data available, the vast differences in capacity across organizations to handle it, and the growing complexity of urban challenges provides an opportunity to test how principles of circular data can help to establish new forms of public and private partnerships that make cities more economically prosperous, livable, and resilient. Though we talk of an overabundance of data, it is often still not visible or tactically wielded at the local level in a way that benefits people, The Circular City aims to change that.


In partnership with NYCEDC, Citi Ventures and Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, The Circular City facilitated pilots from a curated cohort of startups including Numina, CARMERA and Citiesense. These pilots delivered new data and insights for the fast-growing neighborhood of Downtown Brooklyn and became the focal point for new applied research from Columbia University, Cornell Tech, NYU's GovLab and ARCx.
View Citiesense's Data Dashboard


To learn more about the technologies developed and piloted through The Circular City and to read the new research, download The Circular City Research Journal, which includes an original case study of the program along with three white papers exploring the value proposition of circular data for: economic development, mobility and resilience & sustainability.
Download The Circular City Research Journal Vol. I

Public Showcase

In Spring 2019, The Circular City celebrated its first year with a public showcase to highlight and share the achievements of the program. A mix of city, corporate, university, and urban tech stakeholders joined New Lab for the evening event, which featured remarks from our city partners, presentations and interactive demos of the technologies developed and piloted, and a panel discussion on the new applied research produced. Check out the video for a recap of the public showcase.

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