Speaker: Patrizia Sulis (The Bartlett, UCL)

Time and place: 20 September, 13:30, 01.West.060, BK, TU Delft

Topic: Applying a computational method to explore the diversity of urban dynamics and spatial behaviour in London

Abstract: The availability of large amounts of new data containing human mobility information at a higher spatiotemporal resolution represents an unprecedented opportunity to enhance urbanism research and provide supplementary information about cities to be used in spatial planning. Some promising results in current work from other disciplines show how spatial analysis integrating these data can be used to validate existing theories, unveil new characteristics of space, and strengthen the overall understanding of spatial dynamics. 
In this seminar, I present how I have explored this opportunity during my doctoral research at UCL. The presentation starts from a short introduction about the current research focusing on urban analytics and urban computing applied to cities, and then introduces two of the cases I developed in my study, using data science and quantitative methods techniques to explore how the patterns of human mobility and the presence of people varies across a number of places in the city of London. The first case borrows the concepts of urban diversity and vitality from Jane Jacobs, using a computational approach to quantitatively evaluate them according to the variation of human mobility in a place. The second case builds on that, using the values of vitality previously calculated and a machine learning technique to investigate the similarity of the areas included in the study according to the variation of vitality of each place across time (daily and weekly values). 
Results of the research show the potentiality of integrating new data sets and analysis techniques into the standard procedures of urban analysis, and the contribution of these new pieces of information to enhance the understanding of cities. The final part of the presentation focuses on the discussion of the limitations of this approach and the possible future work.

Bio: Patrizia Sulis is an urbanist and urban analyst. She is an EMU Alumna and holds an MSc in Urbanism from the Delft University of Technology. She worked as Teaching Assistant at the University College London, and as GIS Specialist and Research Assistant for the Delft University of Technology, the Bartlett School of Planning and the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis. Currently, she is a PhD Candidate at the Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University College London, supervised by Dr Ed Manley and Prof. Mike Batty. Her research focuses on the application of data science and quantitative methods to urbanism and urban analysis, investigating human mobility patterns and the variation of the presence of people in urban space, using a variety of extensive urban data sets sourced from public transport, social media and open sources.


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