We're a UK-wide data service for researchers who want to use big data to address a range of urban challenges, both local and global.

Funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council, the Urban Big Data Centre is a unique facility that brings together the expertise of urban social scientists, data scientists, and statisticians from the University of Glasgow and seven partner universities. We support researchers, policymakers, businesses, third sector organisations, and everyday citizens to harness the potential of big data to develop solutions for environmentally sustainable, economically resilient, and socially just cities.

Our objectives

  • Develop novel solutions for using and sharing urban big data including the infrastructure, tools and expertise to access such data;
  • Provide high quality training and outreach activities to equip researchers and decision-makers with the skills and knowledge to use big data to inform public policy debates and business innovations;
  • Deliver cutting-edge research to develop methods and tools to analyse urban big data as well as exemplar projects on substantive urban issues.

 A word from our Founding Director

Professor Vonu Thakuriah led our Centre from its inception in 2014 until July 2018. She is, from October 2018, Distinguished Professor of Rutgers University in the Greater New York City Area and Dean of the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. Vonu remains closely connected to the Centre and the University as a Visiting Professor in the School of Social and Political Sciences.