Thursday, March 22, 2018

8th International Congress Mobility and Transportation, Bogotá

I will be in Bogotá (Colombia) speaking at the 8th International Congress Mobility and Transportation on the first week of April (conference program here). I was kindly invited by TRANSMILENIO S.A, the company that runs the renowned Transmilenio BRT system. The event will gather policy makers, private operators, start ups and academics to discuss some of the main issues and challenges in urban transportation in Latin America.

 To my supervisors, if the ever read this  I know this will be a little distraction from writing by thesis, but it will be a unique opportunity to share my research with experts in the region and to meet some great people. Also, I'm excited that I'll share the floor with Robert Cervero on a panel about the impacts of public transport on cities.

I will be presenting part of my doctoral research, looking at how major transport policies implemented in Rio de Janeiro have impacted people's access to schools and jobs and increased social and spatial inequalities in access to opportunities (pre-print of this paper). I will also talk a bit about a new paper where I analyze the TransBrasil BRT project in Rio and estimate its likely future impacts on accessibility inequalities in the city. I'll post more info about this paper soon.

Monday, March 19, 2018

"Even wealthy families, good neighborhoods and two parents can’t protect black boys from racism"

The title is this blog post comes from Emily Badger (Twitter), who has written a great piece for the NYT, covering the latest study of Raj Chetty and colleagues. Using a unique dataset, the study shows that black men consistently earn less than white men, regardless of whether they're raised poor or rich. The full paper is here.

The study is part of The Equality of opportunity Project, an ambitious and groundbreaking project led by Chetty. I've posted about the project in this blog a few years ago.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Using R to Predict Route Preferences in Bike Sharing

Daniel Patterson has written a really great post/tutorial on how to use R to identify what routes are most frequently used by cyclists in the bike sharing program of the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. It's a good and quick read, you should check it out.

Daniel's analysis was conducted using stplanr, an R package for sustainable transport planning. This package was developed by Robin Lovelace, who is a great enthusiast for active transport and one of the most important developers for spatial and transport analysis in R.

credit: Daniel Patterson

Friday, March 9, 2018

Quote of the Day

And damn, I'm good at this!   the making mistakes part, at least 

I saw this quote on via Programming Wisdom, great account to follow on Twitter.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Political populism and the revenge of the places that don’t matter

Earlier this year, Andrés Rodríguez-Pose (Twitter) published an interesting article where he points out to a pattern in the relationship between the outcomes of some national elections/referendums and the regional development inequalities in some countries. This is the core of Andrés' argument:
Persistent poverty, economic decay and lack of opportunities cause discontent in declining regions, while policymakers reason that successful agglomeration economies drive economic dynamism, and that regeneration has failed. This column argues that this disconnect has led many of these ‘places that don’t matter’ to revolt in a wave of political populism with strong territorial, rather than social, foundations.

According to Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, this help us understand the rise of populism we have recently witnessed in the national elections/referendums in Thailand, Germany, UK, France, USA and now in Italy. The strength of this apparently simple idea becomes evident when one looks at the spatial distribution of electoral outcomes vis-a-vis the social and economic disparities within those countries.

We have elections in Brazil this year. I’m looking forward to seeing whether the results are going to follow the pattern noted by Andrés. I’m afraid yes, but in a slightly different way. Like in many other countries, Brazil is also seeing the rise of a right-wing conservative populist wave. I believe this wave will be strong in the poorest regions and economically declining cities of the country, following the pattern of the "revenge of the places that don’t matter". However, my hunch is that this wave is going to be particularly strong in the rural areas that are thriving economically, not because of economic reasons but because these areas are traditionally conservative Moreover, I think it is really hard to say what is going to happen in the poor rural areas of the poorest stagnant regions of the country (North and Northeast). In the recent past, these regions have leaned towards the often populist center-left Labor Party, but the political importance of this party has been tremendously shaken in recent years due to corruption scandals and a a contentious impeachment process. If these regions keep their historical support to the Labor Party, this would contradict Andrés' conjecture.

These are only two small particularities that I think will make the Brazilian case diverge a bit from the pattern noted in the conjecture of the "revenge of the places that don’t matter". I might be wrong and I hope I am. In any case, the Brazilian election will be a good opportunity to put this conjecture to test.

image credit: Andrés Rodríguez-Pose

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Scientific Communication

Quick note to say I've been a bit absent from blogging while I'm writing up  stressing out about  my PhD thesis.  I keep tweeting a bit more often though.

Cartoon by Tom Gauld, HT Arthur Charpentier

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Urban Picture

Hisashimichi interchange in the city of Hachioji, in Tokyo Metropolitan Area.  You can see this interchange on OpenStreetMap, here. Thanks Pedro Geaquinto for sharing the OSM link!

photo credit: ?

Friday, February 9, 2018

A survey of the literature on mobile phone datasets analysis

A good paper giving a nice overview of the research using mobile phone datasets (mostly CDR data). A lot of interesting research looking at human mobility patterns, spatial and temporal networks, urban and regional development. This paper is already 3 years old, though, and things move fairly quickly in this type of research.

Some of the authors covered in this review are on Twitter. I've tagged them here and here in case you'd like to follow them.

Blondel, V. D., Decuyper, A., & Krings, G. (2015). A survey of results on mobile phone datasets analysis. EPJ Data Science, 4(1), 10.

In this paper, we review some advances made recently in the study of mobile phone datasets. This area of research has emerged a decade ago, with the increasing availability of large-scale anonymized datasets, and has grown into a stand-alone topic. We survey the contributions made so far on the social networks that can be constructed with such data, the study of personal mobility, geographical partitioning, urban planning, and help towards development as well as security and privacy issues.

image credit: Wang et al. 2009