Handbook of Emerging 21st-Century Cities
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Handbook of Emerging 21st-Century Cities

Edited by Kris Bezdecny and Kevin Archer

The majority of the world's population now live in cities, nearly a quarter of which boast populations of one million or more. The rise of globalisation has granted cities unprecedented significance, both politically and economically, leading to benefits and problems at national and international levels. The Handbook of Emerging 21st-Century Cities explores the changes that are occurring in cities, and the impacts that they are having, at the local, national and global scale.
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Chapter 19: Urban renewal in the Hybrid City: Using data for development

Emily Fekete


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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