Monday, July 16, 2018

Tuk Tuk Uber

While I was in Dar es Salaam a few weeks ago, Manuel Santana drew my attention to these three-wheeler tuk tuks with "Uber" written at the back (photo below). At first, I thought that was just a marketing strategy or perhaps a funny joke. Little did I knew that those tuk tuks are regular service providers registered with Uber. This is quite telling of Uber's flexibility to adapt to the particularities of each local context (for better or worse).

ps. In case you're wondering, we didn't take Tuk Tuk Uber... We wouldn't be able to squeeze four people in a Tuk Tuk after dinner.

photo credit: Manuel Santana

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Friday, July 6, 2018

Chart of the day: The rich cultural diversity of 200 Years of US immigration

The accumulated history of US immigration visualized as rings in a growing tree trunk. The chart was created by Pedro M. Cruz and John Wihbey using IPUMS data. It's the first time I see migration data depicted in this way and it does a really terrific job drawing attention to composition diversity and population history.

UPDATE: Leah Boustan has just drawn my attention on Twitter for an important shortcoming of this cart. Leah has rightly pointed that:
"This graphic is great for visualizing changes in composition of immigrant flow to US over time but obscures dramatic fluctuations in magnitude. ~1 mil immigrants entered per year in 1910, down to 100k by 1930 — yet the concentric circles makes it seem like entry grows over time"

Thursday, July 5, 2018

TSU/Oxford is recruiting a Research Associate in Urban Mobility

The Transport Studies Unit (TSU / Oxford University) is recruiting a Research Associate in Urban Mobility to work on the PEAK Urban project. If you are interested on questions of transport accessibility, knowledge co-production*, transportation equity and everyday mobilities, you should take a closer look at the Job Details.

* participatory research in which local community members are involved as co-researchers.

This is a really exciting project working with Tim Schwanen (Twitter) in an extremely supportive environment with great colleagues in an excellent research center. I would jump at this opportunity if I could.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Quote of the Day: induced demand

“We assume that car use is an incompressible liquid that must be routed somewhere. But it’s more more like a gas that fills whatever space it's given.” Ian Lockwood, HT Taras Grescoe

Thursday, June 28, 2018

8th Anniversary of Urban Demographics Blog!

Just a few days ago, the Urban Demographics blog had its 8th Anniversary. I have reduced the activity in the blog quite a bit over the past year because I moved houses twice (from Oxford to Cambridge the other place, and then from the other place to Brasilia), and also because I've tried to procrastinate less focus on my thesis writing (more news on this soon). Still, this has been a great year, specially because I've had the chance to meet in person a few dozens of people who told me the blog had been actually helpful in pointing out useful study references, data sources etc. Please, feel free to drop me a line with suggestions on how to improve the blog.

Here just a few quick stats that show a summary of the blog over the past year. 

The 5 most popular posts:
  1. How much residential space could you rent with $1,500 in 30 global cities?
  2. The long-term effect of slavery on inequality today
  3. Using deep learning and Google Street View to estimate the socioeconomic characteristics of neighborhoods
  4. Heads up for some useful R packages
  5. Making a geogif with QGIS

Where do readers come from? (164 countries | 4,217 Cities) 
  1. United States (32.9%)
  2. Brazil (8%)
  3. United Kingdom (7.4%)
  4. Canada (3.8%)
  5. Germany (3.5%)

Thursday, June 21, 2018

On my way to Dar es Salaam

The blog has been quiet lately because I've been trying to finish my PhD thesis  I've been saying this for over a year now   but here are two quick updates. 

The 4th paper of my PhD has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Transport Geography \o/. You can read the pre-print of the study here.

The second update is that I will be in Dar es Salaam next week presenting this paper at a workshop organized by the Volvo Research and Education Foundation (VREF), who also kindly invited me to attend the Mobilize summit organized by ITDP.

I'm very excited to learn about some of the urban development challenges faced by African cities. This will also be a great opportunity to discuss how we can improve research methods to assess the equity impacts of transport policies on people's access to opportunities.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Staying away from trouble

When your boss is looking for you to discuss that project report but you just want to finish your PhD thesis. #truestory

image credit: ? via Glaucia Marcondes

Friday, June 8, 2018

Globally consistent estimate of carbon footprints of 189 countries and 13,000 cities

Daniel D Moran et colleagues developed the Global Gridded Model of Carbon Footprints (GGMCF). This model provides a globally consistent and spatially resolved (250m) estimate of carbon footprints in per capita and absolute terms across 189 countries. Their paper got recently accepted for publication (see below) and their data is freely available. Kudos to the team!

Moran, D., Kanemoto, K., Jiborn, M., Wood, R., Többen, J., & Seto, K. (2018). Carbon footprints of 13,000 cities. Environmental Research Letters.

While it is understood that cities generate the majority of carbon emissions, for most cities, towns, and rural areas around the world no carbon footprint (CF) has been estimated. The Gridded Global Model of City Footprints (GGMCF) presented here downscales national CFs into a 250m gridded model using data on population, purchasing power, and existing subnational CF studies from the US, China, EU, and Japan. Studies have shown that CFs are highly concentrated by income, with the top decile of earners driving 30-45% of emissions. Even allowing for significant modeling uncertainties, we find that emissions are similarly concentrated in a small number of cities. The highest emitting 100 urban areas (defined as contiguous population clusters) account for 18% of the global carbon footprint. While many of the cities with the highest footprints are in countries with high carbon footprints, nearly one quarter of the top cities (41 of the top 200) are in countries with relatively low emissions. In these cities population and affluence combine to drive footprints at a scale similar to those of cities in high-income countries. We conclude that concerted action by a limited number of local governments can have a disproportionate impact on global emissions.

credit: Moran et al