Photo Courtesy of Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office
“As we recover from COVID-19 and build a fairer city, it’s essential that we make decisions based in data, facts, and an understanding of the lived experiences of all New Yorkers,”Mayor de Blasio said.
By Forum Staff
Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday announced the NYC Recovery Data Partnership and called on community, non-profit, and private organizations to share data with the City to aid in COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.
According to de Blasio, the partnership will be a first-of-its-kind effort for the City, centered on principles of privacy, fairness, accountability, and transparency. Partner organizations are providing data free-of-charge to bolster understanding of how New Yorkers have been impacted by the pandemic, and will help to inform programmatic and policy decisions for an equitable recovery.
The RDP will be chaired by the Mayor’s Office of Policy and Planning, the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics, and the Mayor’s Office of Operations, with counsel from the City’s Chief Privacy Officer. According to officials, all partners have agreed to adhere to City privacy and confidentiality guidelines. The RDP team will review all proposed City uses of data, and will make information about how this data is being used available to New Yorkers.
“As we recover from COVID-19 and build a fairer city, it’s essential that we make decisions based in data, facts, and an understanding of the lived experiences of all New Yorkers,” de Blasio said. “That’s why we’re launching the NYC Recovery Data Partnership to harness data from partner organizations that will help us identify and support local industries and communities that are most in need. I call on other civic-minded organizations to join the Recovery Data Partnership as a way to contribute to the City’s recovery efforts.”
According to the administration, the goal of the Recovery Data Partnership is to responsibly build a repository of data to help serve communities most in need, with the knowledge that new potential uses of data to support Covid-19 response and recovery will continue to emerge over time. The types of data being shared by the initial cohort include: weekly real estate market metrics from StreetEasy, Zillow Group’s NYC brand; real-time measures of hiring activity from LinkedIn; rates of illness from aggregated smart thermometer readings from Kinsa; sociodemographic information about New Yorkers seeking personal bankruptcy services from Upsolve; foot traffic data aggregated by neighborhood and business type from Foursquare.
City officials indicated that they are particularly interested in data in the categories below that reflect communities and industries that have been acutely impacted by the pandemic or are traditionally underrepresented in data: housing and accommodations; food/beverage industry; retail purchasing; arts and entertainment; transportation; public safety; public health; experiences of children and elderly.
“We can’t do this alone—the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics knows firsthand that high frequency data and insights are pivotal for COVID-19 crisis response and recovery,” said Kelly Jin, NYC Chief Analytics Officer and director of the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics. “Better data makes for better analysis, and this economic and community data will empower our analysts and policymakers as NYC continues to recover.”