An innovative new partnership between Westminster City Council and Centre for Urban Science and Progress London (CUSP London) will see urban science and data insights used to address and help solve some of the myriad challenges facing London.

At the launch event for the new partnership, held on 17th October 2018, the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Lindsey Hall said: ‘Westminster can and should be a beacon to other councils and universities that collaboration can work and is mutually beneficial.’

The launch formalised a relationship that has seen Westminster City Council and CUSP London organise events such as CUSP London’s annual Data Dives, at which Westminster City Council provided students with local insights and data, inviting them to respond to questions such as: ‘What is the relationship between night-time entertainment and quality of life?’ or ‘How do the socioeconomics of a local area affect traffic accidents?’ The recommendations developed by King’s students were presented back to Westminster City Council to help inform their future approach and potentially transform the day-to-day services offered to local businesses and residents.

The Council has many local challenges to address, and much data that may be useful in tackling these challenges. However, as Dr Joao Porto de Albuquerque, CUSP London Director at Warwick, said this ‘wealth of data can only be turned into useful information and processes to improve cities and urban life if we develop the capacity to make sense of this data with innovative methods and tools’. As part of these efforts, the partnership will give CUSP London MSc and PhD students dissertation topics and case studies that address real-world issues, helping them to develop the skills and networks that will support them in their future careers.

Dr Simon Miles, CUSP London Director at King’s, said: ’We want our research and education to deliver positive local impact, so we are working with partners on our doorstep to help to identify and then address the needs of our communities.’