Universities Help Make City Government More Data-Friendly

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Everyone loves data. Data analytics? Even better.

But city governments aren’t always the best at getting the information they need, or at leveraging that data to use for improving programs and services. Enter MetroLab, an initiative aimed at fostering partnerships between cities and the universities in order to “pair university researchers with city policymakers to undertake research, development, and deployment projects that improve our infrastructure, public services, and environmental sustainability.”

A few dozen cities were enlisted in the program when it began back in 2015; this month, MetroLab announced that Baltimore would be joining that list, with help from the University of Baltimore and Johns Hopkins University.

The universities will focus on several projects, including tracking, mapping, and analyzing data about hospital care for the elderly; examining the city’s use of broadband internet; and using DNA to track the fecal water contamination sources that have been plaguing the city’s waterways.

In other words: some really important issues. Let’s hope the data analytics help push things forward.

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