Friday, August 31, 2018

New paper out: Transport legacy of mega-events and the redistribution of accessibility to urban destinations

I'm glad to share that the 2nd paper of my thesis is now published. It will remain open access for the next 50 days. Downloaded it here.

This is the 1st empirical paper of my doctoral research. Two other empirical papers are currently under review, but you can read their preprints here and here. My theoretical paper is available here, in case you are looking to have some fun over the weekend.

Pereira, R. H. M. (2018). Transport legacy of mega-events and the redistribution of accessibility to urban destinations. Cities, 81, 45–60. doi:10.1016/j.cities.2018.03.013

Local governments increasingly justify the hosting of mega-events because of their legacy value, assuming that all local residents benefit from those events. Yet, little attention has been paid to the distributive question of who benefits from the transport legacy left by those events. This paper reflects on the delimitation of transport legacies and its social impacts in terms of how such developments can reshape urban accessibility to opportunities. It analyses the transformation in the transport system of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) in preparation for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games. That transformation involved substantial expansion in public transport infrastructure, followed by cuts in service levels and a reorganization of many bus lines to streamline the transport system. The paper examines whether those recent changes have increased the number of people from different income levels who could access Olympic sports venues and healthcare facilities by public transport within 15, 30, 60 and 90 min. The analysis uses a before-and-after comparison of Rio's transport network (2014–2017) and a quasi-counterfactual scenario to separate the effects of newly added infrastructure from the reorganization and cuts of transport services. The results show that the infrastructure expansion alone would have increased the number of people who could access the Olympic sports venues, but it would have only marginally improved people's access to healthcare facilities. Nonetheless, the findings indicate that the streamlined bus system have offset the benefits of infrastructure investments in a way that particularly penalizes the poor. The analysis of both the implemented changes to the public transport network and the counterfactual scenario show that the accessibility benefits from the recent cycle of investments and disinvestments in Rio generally accrued to middle- and higher-income groups, reinforcing existing patterns of urban inequality.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

This is how the future of urban transportation will look like

This is true. If this prediction turns out to be wrong in 200 years, I will personally stop writing/editing this blog.

cartoon by André Dahmer

ps. As Ian Philips ‏said: "Excellent to see that in the future there's no compulsory helmet rule for cyclists."

Thursday, August 23, 2018

The geography of Manhattan distorted by travel-times

The figure below was created by Stefan Musch from Gradient Metrics (hat tip Jean Legrand). The figure was created using R and ggplot2 based on travel-time estimates from Google Maps API. There is a bit more info about the creation process in this post and perhaps Stefan will share his code at some point.... please? :)

Echoing the comments of others on Twitter.  The figure does a great job illustrating how it is much harder to cross Manhattan from east to west than from north to south. Finally,  it would be great to see how this shape has changed over the last decades using historical travel time estimates.

credit: Stefan Musch (Gradient Metrics)

Sunday, August 19, 2018

The urban landscape of Hong Kong

Johnny Harris (Vox) has filmed a great series of short-videos that helps us understand the urban landscape of Hong Kong. In one of these videos, Johnny talks about how one of the most unaffordable housing markets in the world is driven by government's land-use regulations. The videos also cover the decline of Hong Kong's neon nightscape and even how feng shui shapes the city skyline. There is also a very informative one about the changing relationship between Hong Kong and China. You can check the list of videos below.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Urban Picture

Barcelona at day and night, by the talented Henry Do (ht Architecture)

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Assorted R Packages for Spatial Analysis

  1. RgeoProfile is an R package for carrying out geographic profiling - a technique derived from criminology that uses the spatial locations of linked crimes to infer the home location (or locations) from which the criminal is operating, by Steve LeComber

  2. rayshader is a package for producing hillshaded maps of elevation matrices with raytracing and spherical texture mapping, by Tyler Mogan.

  3. dodgr: fast calculations of pairwise distances on directed graphs in R, by Mark Padgham

  4. rmapshaper: a simple way to simplify shape files, by Andy Teucher

  5. rpostgis: Linking R with a PostGIS Spatial Database, by David Bucklin and Mathieu Basille

  6. osrmr: a wrapper around the OSRM API, a super fast routing engine for OpenStreetMaps, by Adrian Stämpfli-Schmid

  7. stplanr is a package providing various functions and data access for transport research, by Robin Lovelace. This is the core package underneath The Propensity to Cycle Tool

Monday, August 6, 2018