Friday, December 2, 2016

Brasilia, 32 years of urban expansion

Google Earth Engine has released new data for their project Timelapse, which combines over 5 million satellite images acquired over the past three decades and allows for a zoomable video of land transformations at a global scale. You can play around  procrastinate  on their website zooming in different areas. I find Dubai and Las Vegas particularly interesting. There is a good playlist on Youtube!

This is the timelapse of Brasilia (Federal District), my hometown. During this period between 1984 and 2016, the population of Brasilia went from approx. 1.2 million to 2.9 million. The video shows some very interesting transformations including the expansion of poor settlements largely undeserved by urban infra-structure in the south and southwest of the city, but also some illegal occupations of protected areas by middle- and high-income gated communities in the east and north-east parts of the city.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Social Dilemma of Driverless Cars

Iyad Rahwan presents in a TEDx his recently published paper on the the social dilemma of driverless cars (arXiv version here). HT Cesar Hidalgo.

You should try out the Moral Machine

Related link

Monday, November 28, 2016

Japan fact of the day

You know that 30-metre sinkhole on a road in Japan? It was fixed in just a couple of days.

UPDATE: November 28th, Japan's giant sinkhole is sinking again just a month after it had been repaired.

image credit: AP , The Guardian

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Cycling infrastructure and gender

A few days ago, I share a paper by Roger Beecham (Twitter) exploring gendered cycling behaviors in London. The paper brings a very interesting descriptive analysis of over 10 million journeys made by members of London's Cycle Hire Scheme.

A recent study by Rachel Aldred (Twitter) and colleagues sheds some more light on this debate with a review paper on how infrastructure preferences vary by gender and by age.

In this paper, we represent a systematic review of stated preference studies examining the extent to which cycle infrastructure preferences vary by gender and by age. A search of online, English-language academic and policy literature was followed by a three-stage screening process to identify relevant studies. We found 54 studies that investigated whether preferences for cycle infrastructure varied by gender and/or by age. Forty-four of these studies considered the extent of separation from motor traffic. The remainder of the studies covered diverse topics, including preferred winter maintenance methods and attitudes to cycle track lighting. We found that women reported stronger preferences than men for greater separation from motor traffic. There was weaker evidence of stronger preferences among older people. Differences in preferences were quantitative rather than qualitative; that is, preferences for separated infrastructure were stronger in some groups than in others, but no group preferred integration with motor traffic. Thus, in low-cycling countries seeking to increase cycling, this evidence suggests focusing on the stronger preferences of under-represented groups as a necessary element of universal design for cycling.

Urban Picture

Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal), 2014

Friday, November 25, 2016

Carmageddon and Jamzilla in Los Angeles

I have already posted in the blog about the The Black Hole Theory of Highway Investment. For this matter, LA's 405 freeway is quite an iconic case as it has been the stage of 'Carmageddons' and 'Jamzillas' over the years.

Happy thanksgiving to our friends in LA.

Related links:

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Age of Data

BBC Four has a produced a fascinating documentary on The Joy of Data, presented by the great Hannah Fry (Twitter).

Friday, November 18, 2016

Quote of the day: measurement

'Not everything that can be measured is important, and not everything that is important can be measured'

I heard this sentence the other day, but apparently the original one is a bit different.