About City78

We decode complexities and identify elements in the urban space that are pivotal in managing place identity and achieving urban competitive advantage.

What We Build


City78's EDGE analysis is the first methodology and tool to comprehensively evaluate cities by leveraging user-generated review data, artificial intelligence, and demographic and urban forecast models. EDGE is a key resource in understanding the untapped potential and value of digitally surveying populations and analyzing their perceptions and use of space.

Click here to see EDGE in action


Through City78's partnerships with students, professors and universities, we help guide new projects and methodologies which focus on urban development, community and identity, and EDGE applications. Our current and upcoming research partnerships address topics such as co-creative spaces, disaster forecasting, and performance monitoring.

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City78 works with stakeholders to explore communities and nuances across the urban environment and find practical solutions that can help achieve common goals such as:
(1) Improving the quality of life for all in the urban space, and
(2) Improving methods of data collection and analysis regarding communities and place identity development.

Click here to explore our sample report

“Not everything that can be counted counts,
and not everything that counts can be counted.”
— William Bruce Cameron

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We Pioneer What It Means To Understand Place Image

We specifically designed City78's methodologies to help cities adapt to rapidly changing climates, address population movements, increasing income inequality and rapid urbanization. Through our human-centric tools, we create solutions which prioritize the users of space over the uses in place.

Private sector

City78 guides organizations through situating their prospective development, monitoring public response to new projects, and understanding key narratives and GIS patterns across the urban space.

Government & nonprofit

We develop new ways to understand and analyze communities, consumers, residents and tourists, and involve them directly in the conversation on the needs and best practices of cities.


Our team partners with universities, students, and professors to help design community-driven research and provide data.

OUR CORE INNOVATION  is a methodological approach that fully utilizes the wealth of user-generated data being generated more and more everyday. We believe the organic model of a city is becoming increasingly feasible as participation of the urban dweller in online platforms that have spatial implications and physical representations continue to rise; our methodology makes it possible to strengthen the feedback mechanism between residents and the city, its planners and policymakers.  

While our technical methods may move the needle in terms of making participatory planning-focused analysis easily-accessible, our ideas are rooted in decades of literature and surveys, place imageability analysis and other methods of assessing the needs and perception of communities.  

Jane Jacobs’ assessment of safety and the need for diversity on a street, Kevin Lynch’s Image of the City and conceptualization of imageability, or more contemporary individuals like Eloi Laurent and his arguments for 21st century sustainability through mixed-use communities all advocate for community-driven solutions; City78 has expanded on these professional ideas through a methodological approach to assess communities.

Technology is not an end in itself, but rather presents new methods for solving old and ever-present urban problems

Explore our sample report

Our Ethics


City78 operates as a for-profit, independent urban analytics agency in the greater Washington DC area. Our work reflects the highest standards in urban planning and data science ethics. City78 works with a variety of clients in government, non-profits, foundations and the private sector. We believe it is necessary to have a diverse client base so that we are able to tell a diversity of stories  as well as ensuring a single funder does not influence the majority of our work.


Just as we are transparent with our data, our client work is met with the same ethical standards and honesty. With each project, we ensure that there is no conflict of interest or perceived conflict of interest. New clients are vetted and accepted by City78 based on their work to create social good. We look at their prior work, financials and use our network to ensure they meet the highest standards of their field before we enter a partnership.


City78 is founded upon openness and transparency. In a time when personal data is leveraged by corporations for micro-targeted ads, we make it a priority to use data for social good. Embedded in our methodological approach to understanding cities is a belief that economically sustainable communities and cities are ones who foster equitable and just opportunities for all their inhabitants. Therefore we prioritize honesty in our data analysis and reporting regardless of the client. We publish all review and GIS data collected during the course of a project on data.world and BigParser for public sharing and reuse.

Organic place identity is fundamental to building ethical, sustainable and resilient cities of the future

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Our Team

OUR TEAM THRIVES ON EXPLORATION  across research on best practices in developing mixed-use communities and data-driven insights. With our collective experience in urban planning, data science and research, we are prepared to develop effective urban systems, forecast accurate development scenarios, and design original urban spaces that will increase the quality of life for urban populations.

Femi Adelakun

Geospatial Analyst

Urban planner with close to a decade of experience in demographic studies and urban analysis

Theo Goetemann

Project Architect

Mixed media artist and data scientist with expertise in network and narrative analysis examining online communities

Christian Smutherman

Marketing Specialist

Multimedia storyteller with expertise in digital marketing and sales

Rebecca Bellan

Writer & NGO Contributor

Writer with a focus on sustainable cities and culture

Oliver Wen

Data Engineer

Experiential product engineer with a background in Java and database development

Katy Huang

Research Analyst Intern

Research analyst intern interested in data analysis and computational mass communication

Shana Shin

Marketing Intern

Marketing intern interested in brand building and data-driven marketing

June Choi


Researcher with a focus on resilient infrastructure and climate change

Michael Jokl


Researcher with a background in international history

Ethan Zanelli

Conceptual Designer

Architectural designer interested in organic revitalization of cities


Small, Micro, Minority-Owned Business

Esri Startup Program Emerging Partner


Esri Startup program

Google Cloud for Startups program


WeDC Fest

Georgetown Entrepreneurs

Social Media Week Fairfax

Minority Innovation Weekend

Washington DC Startup Week

McDonough School of Business

The Workforce Show