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Measuring Urban Activities


Successful urban planning and design projects require planners to make assumptions about users and use cases for urban spaces. Therefore, urban planners need to capture activities that happened in the urban spaces. Traditionally, planners relied on surveys and observation to capture urban activities. However, with technological advances, urban planners can access spatiotemporal data covering longer periods of time and space. In this paper, we reviewed the methods that can be used to measure urban activities under five sections: traditional methods, measuring with the sensors installed by surveyors, measuring with the sensors carried by participants, smartphone as sensors and big data. Although the methods discussed have great potential for recording urban activity, they have difficulties such as privacy issues, sampling limitations, lack of knowledge of the context and the need for technical infrastructure. In order to benefit from these methods successfully, more efforts are needed such as improving the accuracy of the data, combining different methods to infer the context, making different collaborations to create technical infrastructure or purchasing the data readily.

Özgün Balaban
Journal Name
Journal of Computational Design , 2 (1) , 355-376