Welcome to Our Civic Innovation Lab Associates!

For the past four years, we have asked community-based organizations, elected officials, and journalists to give us their data and technology questions. With every project, we learn a bit more about the city and the need for others to grow their skills. 

This summer, we launched BetaNYC’s Civic Innovation Lab Associates program. It is an extension of the Civic Innovation Fellowship, bringing graduate students already literate in urban planning, policy, or community work to assist the Civic Innovation Lab by performing data analytics, running events, and researching municipal technology or data systems.

As with our apprentices and fellows, associates receive personal attention from BetaNYC staff. We aim to deepen their professional experiences and while they learn how to work with New York City government, municipal data, mapping, communication tools, and developing their teaching skills. Their technical experience prior to this program, allows them to immediately start working on individual projects.

This month marks one month since we welcomed our associates. In just a few weeks, they have already jumped into action assisting with our RADARs and improving user experience with our digital tools!

We’ve had a blast getting to know them and look forward to more adventures during the summer.  

We are pleased to introduce Eva Decker, HaoChe Hung, and Ziqi Wang. We hope you have as much learning about them as we did! 

Eva Decker

My name is Eva Decker. I grew up in the rural South and graduated with a piano performance degree from UNC Greensboro. I’m a self-taught designer and web developer and have spent the past seven years working in San Francisco and New York on a variety of goals—from simplifying collaboration at Dropbox to addressing social determinants of health at Cityblock.

The systems we design shape our lives in often unseen ways, whether it’s technology’s role in creating and perpetuating trauma, or how widening an urban street can lead to more fatal crashes. This fall I embark on a graduate degree in Urban Planning and Policy at Hunter College, where I plan to take some of my knowledge in designing user-friendly digital spaces and apply it to physical space. There’s so much we can do with technology and design to foster smarter, healthier, kinder communities, and I’m excited to play a small part in making that a reality with BetaNYC.

HaoChe Hung

My name is HaoChe Hung, and I am a Taiwanese graduate student majoring in Urban Planning at Columbia University. Before coming to New York, I was an interior designer and urban researcher practicing in Taiwan and Shanghai. With my interest in the relationship between humans and the built environment, my work varies from designing retail pop-up stores to conducting co-living research based on open data.  

My journey in urban analytics and creating digital tools for the public starts in my urban community called IVC-InVisibleCities and I have been devoted to this path since. BetaNYC is a wonderful place for me to keep experimenting with better ways to shape the physical spaces and public service through digital approaches and I am excited to be part of BetaNYC this summer.     

Ziqi Wang

My name is Ziqi Wang, and I am currently completing my Master’s degree in Data Analytics and Visualization at Pratt Institute. Before that, I was studying Journalism at Emerson College in Boston, MA. 

Interested in storytelling, I decided to become a journalist and discovered my interest in data journalism and data storytelling during undergrad. I am happy and excited to become the cohort of research associates and I can’t wait to learn more about data analytics and visualization, as well as build connections with NYC community boards and other agencies, supporting the important work that they do.

I grew up in Beijing, went to undergrad in Boston, and this is my first year living in NYC and it is so different from Boston. So far I really love Domino Park alongside the river, and I can’t wait to discover more of NYC!