Event Details

From gentrification and increased evictions to trucks in the bike lane, Boston, like many cities, is filled with stories of urban tensions. But are there data to illustrate these conflicts? Can you find, merge and visualize data and other layers of information that can help reveal new, original insights about the city’s urban tensions?

On Saturday, April 8, from 9am to 4pm, Northeastern University will be hosting “Urban Tensions,” a hackathon where participants will explore urban data – from crime to housing to transportation to energy – to tell compelling stories of cities and conflict.


Who can sign up and who will be there?

The event is open to both students and professionals from any field. It will be kicked off with lightning talks on urban data, evictions and gentrification by:

Howard Lim, manager of Boston’s Open Data Project

Christine Dixon, deputy director of Project Hope

Wenfei Xuresearch associate at MIT’s Civic Data Design Lab.


What kind of stories are we looking for?

– From the innovation district to East Boston, what does the push-and-pull between affordable housing and commercial real estate development look like?

– Is Boston violent? Highlight the waxing and waning of crime across the city.

– Quantify Boston’s aging infrastructure to pinpoint where it might fail first as well as where it’s being updated.

– How many bike lanes are overrun by 18-wheelers? Is there another way?


How will projects be judged?

A panel of Northeastern professors from across the College of Arts, Media and Design will judge the submissions. Projects will be judged on their originality, the rigor of their data sourcing and analysis, and the accuracy and appeal of their visual storytelling.


What are the prizes?

Annual Hubway bike-sharing memberships.

Click here for the event webpage.