APA NYC Annual Conference

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In November 2018, we hosted a panel session on housing innovations in American Planner Association (APA) NYC Metro Chapter Annual Conference. Our panel “Arrival House: an Integrated Co-Living Model for New Arrivals to NYC” focuses on housing and neighborhood revitalization with a strong focus on inclusiveness for an immigrant population. During this panel, we addressed three key elements on housing innovation:

  • PEOPLE: who are the people with demand for innovative housing and what are their socioeconomic and cultural characteristics?
  • PRODUCT: what is the actual product to deliver regarding design, cost, and construction?
  • PROCESS: what is the process to realize innovative housing projects, regarding planning, financial, political, and operational considerations?

Four domain experts in affordable housing joined us, including Brian Baldor (Director of Design Consultations and Strategies, NYC HPD), Claire Flurin (Director of CO-LIV), John Woelfing (Dattner Architects), and Silky Misra (Chhaya Community Development Corporation). We had a lively discussion on co-live and its potential in NYC from architecture, urban planning, policy, and community development aspects.

TMU+MIT Taipei Health IoT Hackathon

In October 2018, I was invited as a mentor to attend Health IoT Hackathon in Taipei. This is a four-day event co-hosted by Taipei Medical University (TMU) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Students in medical school, data science, and engineering school teamed up with practitioners in hospitals to explore novel applied data science projects and digital product prototyping.

 

 

 

 

Within four days, each team will conceptualize a meaningful question, explore available data sources, develop computation methods with statistical modeling and machine learning, validate the results, and prepare for a presentation. Here are my two major takeaways:

  • In a hackathon, defining a problem and exploring data should be iterative, ideally concurrent process. In short, we need need to find the right data to answer a meaningful question. However, it is questionable that whether hackathon forces us to seek “low-hanging fruits”, simply due to its limit time.
  • During the early stage, it would be beneficial for the team to reach a consensus on the value proposition of their project. Specifically, what are the expected deliverable and its potential impact/ importance/ value? This seems to be a bottleneck for many teams that they do not have a vision of the final product (scientific discovery? hidden problem? algorithm? product?) even after defining a valid question.

I believe these are common challenges not only for people in hackathons but in general data-driven research as well. These challenges worth future studies to better understand the research management strategies on interdisciplinary data project and prototyping. Finally, I would like to thank MIT team for having me on this event. I have learned so much from other researchers and glad to contribute my feedbacks to support the students in Taipei.

 

Future Housing: A Co-live Scenario

How can we redesign and rethink housing to better integrate the arrival of immigrants to their new city?

Recently I finished a one-year fellowship with Urban Design Forum investigating escalating housing issues in New York City. My teammates and I presented a co-live scenario as  Arrival House for future housing. This project proposes a co-live scenario with integrated services for the early transition of new arrivals to New York City. It empowers new immigrants to achieve a sustained, enriched, and quality living experience.  We introduce the concept of co-living, regarding its historical precedents, current market, and potential opportunities for immigrant housing in NYC.

We prototype CO-LIVE as a new housing typology at the unit, building, and neighborhood scales with design principles and planning strategies. Finally, we validate this prototype by working collaboratively with a local housing advocacy organization for a proposed site in Richmond Hill, Queens.

 

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For more information, please visit Urban Design Forum: Arrival House.

Bloomberg D4GX 2017 Immersion Day

IMG_6169In this September, I was awarded as an Immersion Fellow by Bloomberg Data for Good Exchange (D4GX) 2017. Every year, Bloomberg’s D4GX Immersion Day fellowship program explores how data science research in New York City’s universities can be used to impact the public sector. This year’s focus was on governance and community-driven missions in major cities, including NYC, Philadelphia, Paris, and Bogotá, Colombia.

In this program, I worked with Grand Central Partnership (GCP), one of the largest business improvement districts in the world. As a data scientist, I explored the data generated from GCP’s daily operation and identified key insights and analytical routine for a better data-driven management.

Video Sources: Inside Bloomberg’s Youtube Channel

 

Foregin Policy Colloquium, Washington DC

Recently I was invited to attend Foreign Policy Colloquium (FPC) from May 30 to June 2 in Washington D.C. at the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. FPC is an exclusive four-day program inviting 75 Chinese students and scholars from all top U.S. universities focusing on international cooperation and bilateral relations between U.S. and China.

FPC is held by National Committee on U.S.-China Relations (NCUSCR), who is the one of highest ranked organization on U.S.-China relations. The organization initiated the ‘Ping Pong Diplomacy’ during Nixon’s Administration and started the formal relation between U.S. and China. Till now NCUSCR has been playing a key role connecting two countries’ cooperation and communication from foreign policy to business.

Through this great even I had a chance to interact with key players in the American foreign policy arena, including current and former Administration officials and members of Congress. The speakers include well-known figures from academia, think tanks, media, business, lobbying groups, and the military, among others. We had a great opportunity to discuss current hot issues including global security, regional conflicts, policy, trade and finance, economic development, and technology innovation. I also had the honor to attend a reception hosted by the China Embassy and met with Ambassador Cui Tiankai, who is a famous diplomat and current the Chinese Ambassador to the United States.

 

Through this event, I’ve also met great talented peers from other universities. Their majors include International Relation, Global Affairs, Law, Business, Public Policy, Economics, Finance, and Public Administration. I’ve had wonderful conversations and made many new friends based in New York City, Boston, Washington D.C. and California. With the common interest in U.S.-China cooperation, we hope to continue our conversation even after this event!

Forefront Fellow: Urban Design Forum

I’m glad to announce that I’m named to be one of Forefront Fellows by Urban Design Forum.

“Forefront is an annual program led by the Urban Design Forum dedicated to cultivating emerging leaders in urban design, development and policy.

Kate Larsen - 2017 Urban Design Forum Forefron Fellows

Each year, the Forum invites 20 individuals under the age of 40 to become Forefront Fellows. Fellows meet monthly to investigate critical issues facing New York City, develop design projects and policy papers, and receive feedback from their peers and established leaders in the field.

The theme for this year is Design for Arrival, which explores how urban design, development and technology can strengthen historic and emerging immigrant communities in New York City.”