Saturday, January 28, 2017

A glance of the street art murals of Sao Paulo

The video was made by Kico Santos and his team at Cinema de Rua. The current city policy towards the city's graffiti has been a complete joke, by the way. Thanks Vinicius Netto (Twitter) for the pointer.

Monday, January 23, 2017

How writing to your PhD supervisor feels

In case my supervisor sees this, this is meant to be a joke of bad taste.

An open dataset with 6,000 years of global urbanization

Patrick Gerland points to a new paper/open dataset that provides the first spatially explicit archive of the location and size of urban population settlements over the last 6,000 years. We have previously posted in this blog about the fantastic work of Karen Seto and her group at Yale at the Seto lab on Urbanization and Global Change (here and here). This one adds up to a great and continuous effort on improving spatially explicit models of population growth and urbanization, with important contributions to historical and prospective research.

Reba, M., Reitsma, F., & Seto, K. C. (2016). Spatializing 6,000 years of global urbanization from 3700 BC to AD 2000. Scientific data, 3.

How were cities distributed globally in the past? How many people lived in these cities? How did cities influence their local and regional environments? In order to understand the current era of urbanization, we must understand long-term historical urbanization trends and patterns. However, to date there is no comprehensive record of spatially explicit, historic, city-level population data at the global scale. Here, we developed the first spatially explicit dataset of urban settlements from 3700 BC to AD 2000, by digitizing, transcribing, and geocoding historical, archaeological, and census-based urban population data previously published in tabular form by Chandler and Modelski. The dataset creation process also required data cleaning and harmonization procedures to make the data internally consistent. Additionally, we created a reliability ranking for each geocoded location to assess the geographic uncertainty of each data point. The dataset provides the first spatially explicit archive of the location and size of urban populations over the last 6,000 years and can contribute to an improved understanding of contemporary and historical urbanization trends.

credit: Reba, Reitsma and Seto

Friday, January 20, 2017

off-topic: Inauguration Day


credit: unknown

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Extreme poverty worldwide has more than halved since 1990

The percentage of people living in extreme poverty around the world has fallen by more than half over the past three decades (via Dina Pomeranz). According to a recent study, a significant majority of respondents from several countries are unaware of this achievement. I wasn't aware either!

On a side note, Oxfam is on the news again with their report on wealth inequality. Oxfam's method is quite questionable and there are lots of articles out on the web criticizing it. Last year, Tim Harford addressed this issue in his podcast More or Less (brilliant podcast, btw). You can listen to this explanation in this 10 minute-audio.

ps. the shortcomings of Oxfam's estimates do not imply we face low levels of global inequality, but they do distort the numbers in a way that attracts lots of headlines.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Music for the weekend

Good soundtrack for coding and data analysis.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Who uses active transportation in Brazil?

The proportion of workers who cycle or walk to work in Brazil is approximately 33%, a similar proportion found in France (34.9%) and Holland (37.9%). Yet, cycling and walking as modes of transport are strongly associated with lower income groups in Brazil. Depending on the metropolitan area, the use of active transportation is two to five times more frequent among low-income individuals than among high-income individuals.

In a recent paper, some colleagues and I discuss the socioeconomic and regional differences in active transportation in Brazil using nationally representative data from 2008 (here is the paper in Portuguese). We've been working on a new paper that updates these data and analyzes the relationship between active transport and health outcomes in the country.

click on the image to enlarge it

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Two open positions at TSU Oxford

Heads ups: there are currently two open positions at the Transport Studies Unit (TSU) at Oxford University:

Sunday, January 8, 2017

PhD status report

My  procrastination  blogging activity has been lower than the usual for PhD reasons. Bear with me :)

Monday, January 2, 2017

Urban Picture

Cinematic Photographs of Tokyo, by Masashi Wakuiby (via Christopher Jobson - Colossal)

credit: Masashi Wakuiby