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Big Data Allows for a New Science- That of Cities!

55% of our world’s population lives in city centres – a figure that is expected to further increase by 70% by 2050. Given that there exist massive inequalities in society, healthcare and workplace access (due to the housing crisis that is limiting job opportunities for millions), it is clear that we need to understand and address how this population shift may exacerbate these problems.

And technology can help.

Using anonymous cell-phone data from applications that have location services enabled, Adam Frank and his colleagues were able to demonstrate how millions of people move around the country. Their results are impressive, showing how income determines both the frequency and location of travel and correlates with unequal access to education and healthcare.

Cell-phone data, by providing evidence for problems that we knew existed, can place more pressure on policy makers and push for social change. And it doesn’t stop there. By understanding how people move in cities, services like public transportation can be informed; equal access to food can be ensured; adequate housing supply can be ascertained.

Click below to read more about this.

How cell phone data can help redesign cities

A treasure trove of mobility data from devices like smartphones has allowed the field of “city science” to blossom. In many cities, low-income and high-income residents rarely travel to the same geographic locations. Such segregation has major implications for urban design.

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