As the coronavirus crisis deepened, scientists needed information. There was plenty available, but it was disparate, disconnected and constantly growing. Looking to bring order to the chaos, C3.ai created the COVID-19 Data Lake—letting researchers plunge into multiple data sources that were now integrated into a unified model, ready for immediate analysis. Users could explore the data based on features such as diagnosis, age, location and preexisting conditions to find patterns in the disease, evaluate efforts to combat it, and develop medicines and vaccines to prevent future outbreaks.
4th Most Influential Project of 2020
It started with a Zoom call. As COVID-19 began its spread across the United States, a group of technologists got to talking about how the pandemic could stretch local government resources to the breaking point. The group—which included three former U.S. deputy chief technology officers—hatched a plan to recruit volunteer software engineers, data scientists, interaction designers and project managers to provide free, fast help to public agencies struggling to keep pace with rising community needs.
8th Most Influential Project of 2020
Related Companies Chairman Stephen M. Ross calls his US$25 billion, 28-acre (11-hectare) Hudson Yards development, “New York as it should be, with everything you want at your doorstep.” Agree or disagree—and there are plenty in both categories—Hudson Yards is the largest mixed-use private real estate venture in U.S. history. By reimagining a previously uninhabited, ho-hum stretch of Manhattan in New York, New York, USA, the project team unleashed a bold experiment in large-scale urban planning—a city within a city that blends office towers, a shopping mall, an arts center and residential skyscrapers at an unprecedented scale. That live-work-play combo makes Hudson Yards an emerging case study for perhaps the most buzzed-about concept for post-pandemic urban planning: the “15-minute city,” providing everything urbanites crave in close proximity.
18th Most Influential Project of 2020
COVID-19 has taken a bite out of the bottom line for many businesses, but not Amazon. Even before consumers started hitting up the site to avoid in-person shopping during The Great Lockdown, sales for the e-commerce giant were already increasing, accentuating a years-long shift in buying habits. To get all those online purchases to shoppers’ homes, Amazon is taking to the skies, building a massive hub at CVG Airport in Hebron, Kentucky, USA.
30th Most Influential Project of 2020
Crayons, books, laptops. For 20 years, DonorsChoose has deployed a breakthrough crowdfunding platform to help U.S. public school teachers request the supplies they need most in their classrooms. Contributors then hand-pick the classroom project they want to fund. But in March, when public schools across the United States began closing in response to COVID-19, conventional classrooms shut down. The needs of teachers—and their students—became more acute, in entirely new ways.
32nd Most Influential Project of 2020
"I'm John Krasinski, and if it isn’t clear yet, I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing." The actor never imagined he’d be hosting a makeshift news program while sheltered at home with his family. But as the world hunkered down in response to COVID-19, Krasinski looked on the bright side—and delivered what the noisy news cycle was sorely missing: Some Good News (SGN).
38th Most Influential Project of 2020
The largest heritage restoration ever undertaken in Canada aims to squeeze more than 100 additional members of Parliament into the House of Commons in Ottawa—without compromising the structure’s architectural integrity. The CA$4.2 billion multi-building project also includes bringing current accommodations into the 21st century, and ensuring facilities meet accessibility and safety standards. The rehabbed West Block reopened in January 2019, and construction in and around the Centre and East Blocks is currently underway.
Oxford Properties Group, the developer of the Hudson Yards transformation in New York, New York, USA, is at it again, launching one of Canada’s largest real estate projects. Announced in June 2019, the CA$3.5 billion skyline-transforming Union Park Toronto megadevelopment would comprise a 2-acre (0.8-hectare) park and four towers including 399,483 square meters (4.3 million square feet) of mixed-use space.
The project encircling Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula would quickly shuttle tourists around the vacation hot spot, though conservationists fear the route would damage ecosystems. Proposed by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador in 2019, the 1,500-kilometer (932-mile) project would include 15 stations from Caribbean beaches to the peninsula’s interior.
Italian architecture firm Stefano Boeri has eco-friendly, futuristic plans for 1,376 acres (557 hectares) of land outside Cancun, Mexico. Proposed in 2019, the revolutionary city would hold 130,000 people—and 7.5 million plants, including 2.3 trees per resident. It also aims to be food and energy self-sufficient, with solar panels and underground-irrigated farmland.