Seed Grants

CUI’s Seed Grants support Georgia Tech’s faculty in conducting interdisciplinary research and expanding the impact and influence of existing urban innovation work led by academic units at Georgia Tech.


Dr. Anna Joo Kim, School of City and Regional Planning​

''To understand the unique potential of immigrant communities in facilitating urban growth in metro Atlanta, Dr. Anna Kim, Assistant Professor of Housing and Community Development in the School of City and Regional Planning, will utilizing a CUI seed grant to convene a working group of faculty experts from Georgia Tech, Georgia State University, and Emory University to conduct research focused on authorized and unauthorized immigrant labor in Georgia.

By engaging partners like the Georgia Department of Labor, Essential Economy Council, Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights, Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Mayoral Office of Multi-Cultural Affairs, this group aims to address issues related to recent immigrant-related population, and highlight the work of city leaders, nonprofits, and academics in ensuring that the Atlanta area is a strong symbol for immigrant integration in the regional south.

Read more: Immigration in Georgia: The GIRN And “Welcoming Cities” Forum.


Dr. Robert Rosenberger, School of Public Policy​

A CUI seed grant is helping Dr. Robert Rosenberger, Assistant Pro''fessor of Philosophy at the School of Public Policy, further his work on the nature of multi-use public space technologies by supporting the beginning stages of a publication on the topic of the ethics and politics of anti-homeless design. Modeled in the style of an early American political pamphlet, this piece will call attention to urban practices that merge design and policy to further marginalize the homeless, such as installing public benches designed to discourage sleeping or selecting city trash cans tailored to discourage picking for leftover food.

Read more: How Anti-Homeless Agendas are Built into Public Space.


Dr. Yanni Loukissas, School of Literature, Media and Communications​

''As both citizens and scholars look to “big data” to help understand their cities, they need tools to access and process that data into usable information. CUI is supporting an initiative by Dr. Yanni Loukissas, Assistant Professor of Digital Media at the School of Literature, Media, and Communication, to develop an open source coding toolkit, which will guide students in learning about the ways in which data shapes public perceptions of housing in urban environments.  

This set of creative coding tools will consist of analysis (i.e. natural language processing) and visualization code libraries, as well as easy-to-use examples for Processing, a Java-based development environment created specifically for designers. The toolkit will be open and accessible online to the public, and used in a new interdisciplinary Georgia Tech Literature Media and Culture course entitled Local Data.


Dr. Kari Watkins, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering

''Dr. Kari Watkins, Assistant Professor of Transportation Systems Engineering in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, will utilize a CUI seed grant in partnership with GVU Center, IPAT, Center for Urban Innovation, and City of Atlanta, to test a control method on the Atlanta Streetcar using tablets inside the streetcars to communicate driving instructions to the operators. The project aims to maximize the quality of Streetcar service by reducing passenger waiting time, and has potential to inform a vehicle spacing system that could manage wait times on other transit routes in Atlanta, and throughout the country.