Atlas Lab

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For our experimental section, Atlas Lab, we are looking for inspired ideas for improvements that can be implemented and tested in the urban landscape. Possible areas for applied research include transportation, energy, water, waste, sidewalks, roof tops, heat islands, and urban agriculture.

Methods for raising awareness on those or related issues are valuable, as are new infrastructure designs. We seek projects that are creative, practical, and efficient.

If you or someone you know is doing relevant work in a field related to urban sustainability, we may be able to help you by providing funding for materials or research.

Criteria for Atlas Lab proposals:

1. Your work can be realistically implemented and/or will stimulate thought on an aspect of sustainability and the future of New York. Projects can exist ‘on paper only’ but will be judged on future buildability and your budget projection for a full scale version.

2. Your work can be replicated in another city. (But it has to start here in NYC.)

3. You can test its impact. (This can be through a technical evaluation for a gadget or by running focus groups for ideas. We are open to your methodologies.)

4. It has some sort of physical installation or public visibility component that can be documented and shared online as well.

5. If you are installing in the city, you must plan for necessary permits and permissions. In some cases, we may be able to help with logistical advice.

Sample research projects might include: testing various types of plants for durability, or designing a mobile information booth that conveys information about climate change and cities, and is simultaneously able to compare the effectiveness of alternate messages.