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We're Launching the Urban Data Geeks Lab!

Announcing the official launch of our very own research think tank:

The Urban Data Geeks (UDG) Lab!

The Urban Data Geeks Lab’s mission is to help usher in a more data-driven, evidence-based citymaking paradigm by fostering a mutually beneficial partnership with the academic and research community.

Even before State of Place became an official software company, even before we were a startup, even before our Founder officially began consulting, we fielded countless requests from the academic community (graduate students and professors alike) to use our methodology - and now software - in their independent research, service-learning, and community-based projects. After working successfully with many of our academically-minded, fellow data-geeks, and doing a soft launch of the UDG Lab last year, we’re now ready to officially "take over the world" - or at least the datageekdom - and formalize this initiative to make it easier and more straightforward to flourish many future fruitful partnerships with those of you who wish to break out of the "ivory tower." ;)

What drove our decision to Launch the UDG Lab?

  1. We have a soft spot for academics. Our founder, Dr. Mariela Alfonzo received her doctorate in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of California, Irvine. She remains active in the field of urban design and behavior research as a Research Assistant Professor at NYU and still loves waxing poetic about her more nerdy endeavors, speaking at conferences around the world. With its foundations in academic research, we very well know State of Place would not be here without the support of those in the research community. It's now our turn to give back (and give Mariela more fodder for those nerdy conferences ;))!

  2. We want to see what you can do with our software! We understand that providing a powerful and ready-made tool for urbanists in academia will open the door for cutting-edge research related to the built environment. 

  3. We want to help advance the community of researchers who are using data for better placemaking. We are just scratching the surface of understanding how built environment data can influence more walkable, livable places. We want to provide support to this growing community and enable them to quantify the value of urban design across all realms of daily life, social structures, environmental issues, and even geo-political considerations. 

  4. We want to nurture the community of future datageeks, reach the "young blood" in the field, and get 'em started early so that data-driven, evidence-based citymaking becomes like, a redundant way to describe how we build our cities, period! 

How Can I become a Datageek, you say? Tis easy, peasy...(we promise, no Demogorgons)

Apply below! That's it. 

Ok, but really, what's the catch?


Students who want to use State of Place as part of their undergrad or graduate research will receive access to our software at no cost for the length of their engagement as well as connections to a supportive community of like-minded researchers. We only have a few requirements for your participation, which you can find here.


University-affiliated faculty or Think-tanker researchers who want to use State of Place for sponsored or funded research, we will work with you to craft your proposal and develop a scope of work suitable to your budget to accommodate the use of State of Place within your research plan! 


Professors and instructors who want to use State of Place in your classrooms as part of service-learning or community-based initiatives, we will work with you to craft a data collection plan and guide research designs that can feasibly be implemented within the scope of an academic quarter or semester. 


While most citymakers (planners, developers, placemakers, etc.) are best suited to our software subscription packages, we welcome you to subscribe to our UDG Lab newsletter and/or partner up with the research community to create community-based research initiatives. You can also use State of Place to gain a competitive edge in your applications for local, regional, statewide or federal funding or your RFP submissions. Get in touch to see how we can partner to harness the power of data to create awesome places people love! 

How to Apply


Want to get your (data) geek on (like yesterday)? Reach out to our UDG Lab leader, Joe Lee - We're accepting applications on a rolling basis. Click here for the application requirements. Data Geeks, Unite!