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Mining Urban Performance: Scale-Independent Classification of Cities Based on Individual Economic Transactions

Author

Listed:
  • Stanislav Sobolevsky
  • Izabela Sitko
  • Sebastian Grauwin
  • Remi Tachet des Combes
  • Bartosz Hawelka
  • Juan Murillo Arias
  • Carlo Ratti

Abstract

Intensive development of urban systems creates a number of challenges for urban planners and policy makers in order to maintain sustainable growth. Running efficient urban policies requires meaningful urban metrics, which could quantify important urban characteristics including various aspects of an actual human behavior. Since a city size is known to have a major, yet often nonlinear, impact on the human activity, it also becomes important to develop scale-free metrics that capture qualitative city properties, beyond the effects of scale. Recent availability of extensive datasets created by human activity involving digital technologies creates new opportunities in this area. In this paper we propose a novel approach of city scoring and classification based on quantitative scale-free metrics related to economic activity of city residents, as well as domestic and foreign visitors. It is demonstrated on the example of Spain, but the proposed methodology is of a general character. We employ a new source of large-scale ubiquitous data, which consists of anonymized countrywide records of bank card transactions collected by one of the largest Spanish banks. Different aspects of the classification reveal important properties of Spanish cities, which significantly complement the pattern that might be discovered with the official socioeconomic statistics.

Suggested Citation

  • Stanislav Sobolevsky & Izabela Sitko & Sebastian Grauwin & Remi Tachet des Combes & Bartosz Hawelka & Juan Murillo Arias & Carlo Ratti, 2014. "Mining Urban Performance: Scale-Independent Classification of Cities Based on Individual Economic Transactions," Papers 1405.4301, arXiv.org.
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1405.4301
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    File URL: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1405.4301
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Arribas, D. & Kourtit, K. & Nijkamp, P., 2012. "Benchmarking of world cities through self-organizing maps," Serie Research Memoranda 0006, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stanislav Sobolevsky & Izabela Sitko & Remi Tachet des Combes & Bartosz Hawelka & Juan Murillo Arias & Carlo Ratti, 2016. "Cities through the Prism of People’s Spending Behavior," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 11(2), pages 1-19, February.

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