Edited by Kris Bezdecny and Kevin Archer
Chapter 19: Urban renewal in the Hybrid City: Using data for development
Cities have always served as sites of consumption. With mass numbers of people moving to and living in cities today, this continues to be true as more people require the daily necessities of a capitalist lifestyle. Much of contemporary urban planning seeks to provide access to goods and services to a growing population. The nature of the city, however, is changing. Cities have become hybrids in that they exist in a virtual sense as equally as they exist in physical spaces. Consumers can make choices about which city to visit as well as locations within a city to frequent before crossing municipal boundaries by using a variety of social media applications such as Yelp, Google Places, and Foursquare. While the availability of big data has aided the consumer, less has been said of the potential these types of online services can afford to urban developers outside of literature on Smart Cities. This chapter will explore the hybrid nature of cities using data from the social network, Foursquare, and empirical examples from the recently redeveloped city of Baltimore, Maryland. Data gleaned from this location-based service has the capability to illuminate what types of urban renewal projects are working and identify areas most in need for future development. This study uses Foursquare data as an example of the potential use value of big data to urban change.
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