Journal of Urban Technology

Published by Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Online ISSN: 1466-1853
Print ISSN: 1063-0732
The choice of an appropriate social rate of discount is critical in the decision-making process on public investments. In this paper we review the literature on social discounting, and address in particular a recently growing field of related research, that is, individual time preferences. We argue that an explicit consideration and analysis of the behaviour of individuals regarding the concept and the use of an appropriate social discount rate are essential for balanced decision making in the public sector, especially, though not exclusively, in the field of resource or environmental policy.
Las opiniones contenidas en los Documentos de la Serie EEE, reflejan exclusivamente las de los autores y no necesariamente las de FEDEA. The opinions in the EEE Series are the responsibility of the authors an therefore, do not necessarily coincide with those of the FEDEA.
Urban population by region 2007-2050 (in millions of inhabitants) Source: Kern , 2009 
World map showing the percentage of citizens living in an urban environment in 2007 
Electricity access in 2009: regional aggregate 
This paper deals with technologies, catalysts for change, and their links to development. Indeed, particularly for developing and emerging countries, scientific and technological breakthroughs create wonderful opportunities, but they may also convey risks that should not be overlooked. This leads to crucial questions on the nature of technological innovation and its capacity to fulfill the specific needs of certain societies. Thus, the issue of investing in priority sectors to guarantee more sustainable development for the benefit of all is paramount, as is the question of the stakeholders' direct or indirect involvement in this scientific, technological, and socioeconomic development process. Access to technologies is one of the last vital issues to be addressed. The paper, therefore, explores the question of the existence of exclusively urban technologies and their adaptability to city-related territorial and societal issues in emerging and developing countries and the key factors on which this adaptability will depend.
The concept of digital cities has gained prominence as the importance of ICTs is undoubtedly related to economic, social, and civic development. Brazil is following this trend, and the Ministry of Communications and CPqD created the Brazilian Digital Cities Index for evaluating national digital cities. Based on the concepts of connectivity, accessibility, and communicability that originated from the analysis of United Nations documents on the Information Society, we analyze the city of Curitiba, first-ranked in this Index. We provide a historical vision of the process that enabled the city to achieve this position, and scrutinize the questionnaire used by CPqD. We conclude that the Brazilian Index of Digital Cities does not take into account some key aspects for ranking the city's degree of inclusion in the information society, as proposed by the United Nations. Nevertheless, it is also possible to conclude that Curitiba's position in the ranking represents a historical construction determined by the influence of various social actors.
In this paper, we discuss Belfast community workers' expectations about the influence of the Internet on social capital and on social inclusion among youngsters from segregated areas of the city. For the purpose of conducting onsite research, we selected one of the main organizations working with young people and distributed a questionnaire among the organization's workers. The results show that according to the workers' expectations, the Internet is increasing the openness of youngsters' minds and their social integration, giving a glimmer of hope in light of the challenges of segregation; at the same time, those surveyed indicated that the Internet is not strengthening ties among the young people they work with. Secondly, we verified that different Internet use by the respondents correlated to different expectations, and we found a slight difference in expectations between “higher” and “lower” Internet users.
3D Sensor Placement at Stade des Costi `res, N ˆmes (France) August 5, 2011 
Visual representation of the spatial correlations in the soccer dataset: yellow arrow denotes the evidence of the query. 
Clustering of (a) presence and (b) flow situations over time 
Analysis of people's movements represented by continuous sequences of spatio-temporal data tuples have received lots of attention in recent years. The focus of those studies was mostly GPS data recorded on a constant sample rate. However, the creation of intelligent location-aware models and environments also requires reliable localization in indoor environments as well as in mixed indoor/outdoor scenarios. In these cases, signal loss makes usage of GPS infeasible; therefore other recording technologies evolved. Our approach is analysis of episodic movement data. This data contains some uncertainties among time (continuity), space (accuracy), and the number of recorded objects (coverage). Prominent examples of episodic movement data are spatio-temporal activity logs, cell-based tracking data, and billing records. To give one detailed example, Bluetooth tracking monitors the presence of mobile phones and intercoms within a sensor's footprints. Usage of multiple sensors provides flows among the sensors. Most existing data mining algorithms use interpolation and therefore are infeasible for this kind of data. For example, speed and movement direction cannot be derived directly from episodic data; trajectories may not be depicted as a continuous line; and densities cannot be computed. Still, the data hold much information on group movement. Our approach is to aggregate movement in order to overcome the uncertainties. Deriving a number of objects for the spatio-temporal compartments and transitions among them gives interesting insights on the spatio-temporal behavior of moving objects. As a next step to support analysts, we propose clustering the spatio-temporal presence and flow situations. This work focuses as well on creation of a descriptive probability model for the movement based on Spatial Bayesian Networks. We present our methods on a real world data set collected during a football game in Nîmes, France in June 2011.
The Internet's addressing system, the domain name system, provides geographic information on Internet activity. This study shows that cities, as well as institutions of higher education in the cities, are driving, rather than simply participating in, information-based phenomena such as the expansion of the Internet. Some implications of this activity for the future of cities are discussed. (SLD)
Real and Virtual Spaces 
Information and Communications [Cyber] Spaces (IC and CC)  
Communications Cyberspace (CC)  
The notions cognitive space and cognitive/mental maps were proposed in the late 1940s, and have been extensively studied since the 1970s within behavioral geography, as well as within tangent disciplines, notably environmental psychology and architecture. Viewing these notions from the perspective of the 2000s, one can state that the hidden assumption, or ontology, for space, on which these notions were based, was that space constitutes a personally experienced, real, material entity. The massive introduction and adoption of information technology for personal uses as of the 1980s brought about a wide exposure of individuals to a virtual and immaterial space: cyberspace. Virtual space has been constantly experienced by users of the Internet, as well as by individuals communicating through fixed and mobile telephones. The objective of this article is to examine cognitive cyberspace, suggesting its classification into two classes--cognitive information cyberspace (CIC) and cognitive communications cyberspace (CCC)--based on an equivalent classification of cyberspace into information [cyber]space (IC) and communications [cyber]space (CC). Of these two latter classes of cyberspace, communications cyberspace (CC), which is proposed in this article, will receive special attention, through its comparison to information cyberspace (IC). (Contains 3 figures and 2 tables.)
How do climate and energy objectives influence the renewal of the role of network infrastructures in urban planning and the running of urban systems? The example of the revival of interest in district heating networks provides a few possible answers to this question, which is central to the understanding and characterization of the conditions for carrying out the urban energy transition. In this paper, we study this example by analyzing recent changes in French regulations and the process of creating an intercommunal energy-related competence in the Lyon metropolitan area. Emphasis is placed on the institutional and political conditions surrounding a change in governance as well as the underlying justifications in the reconsideration of an existing infrastructure in view of new energy, climate, and social challenges within a specific urban context. Our study has been carried out in reference to several discussions on urban planning and on institutional, political, and spatial factors that shape urban infrastructure regimes.
Use of mobile phone data in research activities. Selected papers and countries. 
Rein Ahas, Harvey J. Miller, and Frank WitloxThis special issue of Journal of Urban Technology aims to provide an overview ofhow mobile positioning data are used in geographical studies. The issue hasbeen compiled as a conclusion of the Mobile Tartu 2012 Conference that washeld in Estonia during August 22–25, 2012. The special issue presents an overviewof the current state and most significant directions of mobile phone-based dataresearch. The Journal of Urban Technology also published the key papers presentedat the first Mobile Tartu 2008 Conference as a special issue on Mobile Positioningand Tracking in Geography and Planning (See JUT17:1 [2010]). Hence, the currentspecial issue can be considered as a follow-up to the 2010 themed issue.In 2014, it is evident that mobile phones have become everyday commoditiesthatinfluenceoureverydaybehavior,communication,anduseofspace.AccordingtothedataofInternationalTelecommunicationUnion,in2005,therewereabout2.2billion mobile phone subscriptions in the world. In 2013, already 6.8 billion mobilephone subscriptions (ITU, 2013) are in use. In developed economies, mobilephones are omnipresent in daily life. In 2013, per 100 residents in Europe, therewere 127 people who connected to mobile telephone network/ users of mobile tel-ephony service/ subscribers to mobile phone. The number of mobile telephoneusers has, however, grown the fastest in Africa. In 2005, 87 million people livingin Africa had a mobile phone. In 2013, this number had risen to 545 million (SeeTable 1). These numbers indicate that mobile phone telephony is the dominantdigital technology in most societies. A majority of mobile networks is currentlydigital, and as a result, data are also rather easily usable in terms of technologyfor researchers. As mobile phones are gradually socially and geographically uni-formly spread, we can use them to study all kinds of processes in society.Mobile phones can be used for research purposes in several ways. First,mobile phones are most often used for asking questions orally or as a textmessage; mobile-based panel research has been an everyday practice of research-ers and students already for years (Lynn & Kamenska 2013). Second, so-calledactive technologies can be used, where the information on the location and useof the phone is sent with special inquiries. Such predetermined collection ofdata is called designed data(Groves 2011). Currently, such active positioning is con-
The analysis of Call Detail Record (CDR) data sets generated by mobile telephony networks has generated much interest in recent years, particularly as an easily accessed source of large volumes of data capable of reflecting the dynamic behavior of humans across a range of temporal and spatial scales. This paper presents a study focused on examining human social and economic behavioral patterns in Uganda through the analysis of a CDR data set generated in a Ugandan mobile telephone network in 2010. By examining the response of subscribers to a service incentivizing higher mobile phone call rates through the offering of discounts, economically motivated differences in subscriber behavior in poorer versus wealthier regions of the country are identified. The paper also presents an analysis which suggests a high degree of social insularity within the regions of Uganda which is most likely related to regionally economic development levels in addition to the high levels of ethnic homogeneity within those regions. A methodology for identifying centers of economic activity using the data set alone is also presented and the accuracy and implications of the resultant regional patterns are discussed. Finally, measures of human mobility, and its relationship with economic and social regional characteristics, are examined through the use of graph theoretic based analysis techniques.
The development of advanced information and telecommunications networks have created new kinds of socioeconomic activities, while changes in values and increases in cultural diversity within cities have made manifest the need for planning schemes based on flexibility and responsiveness to change. In contrast to motorization that completely altered the urban scene, IT has quietly merged into the existing urban structure, causing little change in appearance. Nevertheless, the exponential growth of the Internet and the increase in the use of computers have had profound effects on urban activities. Urban planners have responded by developing supportive tools such as network-based geographic information systems (GIS) as well as online public participation programs (PPP) and other types of groupware. These technologies automate data handling, reduce planning time, and increase the opportunity for public participation. The social life of cities has also been changing.
Location of Estonia in Europe and Estonian cities mentioned in the study. 
Number of visits by events visitors and regular visitors.
Top ten countries of origin for visits by events visitors and regular visitors. (FI - Finland; LV - Latvia; LT - Lithuania; RU - Russia; SE - Sweden; DE - Germany; NO - Norway; GB - Great Britain; PL - Poland; FR - France; IT - Italy). 
Average visit distances by events visitors and regular visitors.
Regression analysis of the relationship between the distances traveled by events visitors and regular visitors.
Event tourism has become an important economic component of modern tourism, given the growing numbers of visitors and the development of local communities that it entails. This study examines whether the distances traveled by foreign visitors to events differ from those traveled by non-event (i.e., regular) visitors, and which factors influence such distances. We use passive mobile positioning data obtained from visitors to 145 events in Estonia (119,288 visits) and from a comparison group of regular visitors (199,859 visits) between 2006 and 2009. The results show that events visitors come from nearer locations than regular visitors; similarly to regular visitors, the distance decay principle applies in case of events visitors; and that events bring more visitors from more distant countries in the off-season (winter).
In the last decade, mobile phones and mobile devices using mobile cellular telecommunication network connections have become ubiquitous. In several developed countries, the penetration of such devices has surpassed 100 percent. They facilitate communication and access to large quantities of data without the requirement of a fixed location or connection. Assuming mobile phones usually are in close proximity with the user, their cellular activities and locations are indicative of the user's activities and movements. As such, those cellular devices may be considered as a large scale distributed human activity sensing platform. This paper uses mobile operator telephony data to visualize the regional flows of people across the Republic of Ireland. In addition, the use of modified Markov chains for the ranking of significant regions of interest to mobile subscribers is investigated. Methodology is then presented which demonstrates how the ranking of significant regions of interest may be used to estimate national population, results of which are found to have strong correlation with census data.
This paper explores the role of social media in facilitating green infrastructure planning through supporting discourses among online participants. Building on the communicative rationality theory, it adopts interpretive discourse analysis to explore ways in which online participants of a neighborhood online forum in Eugene, Oregon were able to assess and clarify the validity of each other's claims while discussing the location of a new park. The results show that this forum did not create a collaborative process, but facilitated this process through its integration with other methods. It facilitated a valid dialogue among the group members and provided valuable information for planners regarding the interests of a selected community of citizens.
(a) Flatbush, Brooklyn to 42 nd Street by Subway-9.5 Miles and 44 Minutes (b) Fremont, CA to 16 th Street, San Francisco by BART-38.8 Miles in 52 Minutes In stark contrast, the Metro North, Long Island Railroad and BART report moving people to their respective central business districts (Manhattan 33rd to 42nd or San Francisco, 16th Street) at about 42 MPH. This results in, for example, of a commute time of 52 minutes for a 38.8 Mile commute from Fremont, CA to San Francisco.
Pricing of roads has been a mantra in transportation economics for many decades now. The basic economic reasoning is sound: optimal consumption of a road is set where price=marginal cost (P=MC) and the lack of a price or the presence of underpricing will lead to economically inefficient levels of congestion. However, the authors here argue that to be effective in managing congestion, imposition of a road price is only a necessary, but not a sufficient condition for obtaining an optimal level of road usage. Pricing regimes in London and New York are compared and contrasted to examine this argument. In London road pricing has been imposed as part of an overall urban congestion management scheme that takes preexisting traffic flows and alternative modes of transport into account. This effort has generally been deemed to be successfulin obtaining its objective of reduced automobile traffic on constrained urban roads. In New York pricing has been imposed on a piecemeal basis, without overall system performance goals in mind. The result there has been high tolls but growing congestion, and now a London-style cordon pricing scheme has been proposed. In general the authors conclude that road pricing is economically sensible in generic terms but that it may often be detrimental, or at least inefficient, in many of its particular manifestations. To reduce congestion, pricing must be specifically designed to do so taking into account local conditions and institutions.
Participatory sensing uses humans as intelligent sensors by asking them questions on mobile devices. It has been used to monitor effects of climate on plants, potholes in streets, and people's happiness in urban environments. These phenomena are difficult and expensive to measure with traditional electronic sensors. Previous participatory sensing projects have relied on the enthusiasm of the volunteers to notice and report events of interest. YouSense is a framework for centralized real-time management of the volunteers’ efforts. It uses location tracking and model-based methods to target questions to participants only when they are in the optimal situation to contribute data.We have conducted two outdoor case studies to evaluate YouSense. Although it was effective at reducing participant effort wasted on unnecessary answers by 4× in short, focused studies, it was ineffective at targeting questions to valuable locations in long-term studies. Simulation results show that these outcomes are due to different participant behavior, and that centralized management is most effective at high numbers of questions.
The paper will present the main results of research aimed at evaluating different mobile phone data sources for urban analysis and planning for the Monza and Brianza Province (Northern Italy) during 2011. In order to analyze the complex temporal and spatial patterns of this spatial context, we used several mobile phone traffic data (i.e. Erlang measures, SMS counts, MSC active clients counts), provided by Telecom Italia, covering two time slots in 2009 and 2010. We therefore integrated manifold mobile phone network data sources in a systemic way for a comprehensive evaluation of the overall potential of these data in describing urban dynamics.
Space heat has a great share in total energy consumption—complemented by an increasing energy demand for space cooling—and is responsible for a high share of carbon dioxide emissions in the building sector. Energy and climate change policies therefore require a transition to a climate-friendly thermal energy supply. These changes will have to consider spatial characteristics on the local level, because thermal energy supply relates to spatial structure. Urban density, population structure, existing infrastructure, and locations of renewable energies are factors that characterize thermal energy supply as a spatially relevant topic, and suggest its consideration in spatial planning on the local level. What local thermal energy planning might look like is still an open question. In older literature, the example of energy planning in Denmark has been discussed, but also the current example of Swiss spatial energy planning might be an interesting impulse for future research on local thermal energy planning.
This paper refers to the ambiguity that resides in over three decades of telework research and develops the concept of community-based teleworkers as people who work from home or community-based offices using telecommunications. It investigates three case studies of live/work communities in which different levels of collective telework facilities have been offered to support community-based telework. This investigation promotes further understanding of individual and work-related characteristics of community-based teleworkers, and opens discussion on their spatial preferences. Understanding these preferences could lead the future of live/work community design and planning to fully embrace this flexible work option in the information age.
The paper examines the IntelCities Community of Practice (CoP) supporting the development of the organization's capacity-building, co-design, monitoring, and evaluation of e-government services. It begins by outlining the IntelCities CoP and goes on to set out the integrated model of electronically enhanced government (e-government) services developed by the CoP to build the capacity to co-design, monitor, and evaluate the IntelCities' e-Learning platform, knowledge-management system, and digital library. The paper goes on to examine the information technology (IT) underlying this set of semantically interoperable e-government services supporting the crime, safety, and security initiatives of socially-inclusive and participatory urban regeneration programs.
This paper investigates the concept of urban visualization, the visual representation of an urban environment through its intrinsic or related data, where its display is also situated within that physical environment. It describes how the principles behind public and urban displays can be combined with those of social visualization and persuasive computing in order to create discursive as well as pictorial representations that provide a better and potentially actionable understanding of urban issues to its inhabitants. We introduce the role of several related research fields, and analyze a set of representative case studies, taken from current best practice, academic research studies, and an experimental design studio course to highlight the typical issues involved in conceptualizing and implementing an urban visualization. Lastly, the paper proposes a set of design constraints that typically characterize an urban visualization, in order to guide the future design and evaluation of useful applications within the field.
Potential variables affecting the classification of station areas
SOM and K-means classification results
Land in the vicinity of railway stations in the Seoul metropolitan area has been spotlighted as a target for redevelopment in accordance with the principles of transit-oriented development (TOD). In order to understand the nature of station areas as a whole, it is required to identify their current status with respect to their built environments, demographic characteristics, socioeconomic status, and transport aspects. Most of the previous studies that have focused on characterizing urban areas assumed that clearly separable clustering is possible and tried to find a robust methodology for that. Many researchers have used either supervised classifiers requiring a pre-classified dataset for training, or K-means-like unsupervised classifiers demanding a predetermined number of clusters. The present study focused on the fact that it was hard to find such a clear separation in station areas in Seoul. A more abstract technology was necessary to position the current status of each station area and to find how different station areas are from one another. A robust unsupervised classifier, called the self-organizing map (SOM), was employed to investigate the similarities and differences among station areas in Seoul. The SOM results revealed many informative findings for policy development without any classification.
Between 1830 and 1860, Philadelphia's streets became the focus of a series of physical and legal disputes as new infrastructure technologies transformed the streets from a social to a corporate space. Early in the nineteenth century the city gave its residents control and responsibility for the streets creating what amounted to an urban commons. In the 1830s, city ordinances and state charters gave the companies building large infrastructure technologies like streetcar systems and telegraph lines rights to the streets. These new laws effectively made street space a corporately owned public space. Many residents of Philadelphia resisted these changes and their resistance highlights the incompatibility of residentially and corporately controlled public space.
The electrification of trams was one of the most significant changes in urban transport. It led to price reductions, increased speed, better regularity, comfort and convenience, and the popularization of this means of transport. Its introduction required a new business model, characterized by massive investment, modern management, and the use of more sophisticated technology. This innovation came late to Spain and its arrival was aided by capital from Belgian investors and German multinational corporations.
Disappointingly to many who grew up at the time, promises of flying cars in the 1960s as a future form of urban transportation were not kept. That future never arrived. In this short commentary, I want to board the metaphorical flying car and steer it into a different direction. At the height of the first wave of Covid-19, a more widespread sentiment took hold that saw the anticipation of increased mobilities dashed by a general anticipation of disaster considered typical for our age today. We might conclude: We don't get the technologies we want because we have left the era of technological progress and entered the era of risk and anticipation of disaster. My commentary appreciates and discusses the lessons we can learn from Splintering Urbanism for our period of pandemic urbanism. How does the kind of networked urbanism that the book examines and critiques provide a framework in which we can understand the emergence, presence, and management of the pandemic as it affects our urban world today?
This article attempts to speculate on possible post-COVID-19 pandemic scenarios for daily and periodic touristic personal mobilities. Post-COVID-19 pandemic mobilities are assumed to reflect people’s basic needs for mobilities, their pre-pandemic, and pandemic mobility experiences, as well as societal-economic forces pushing for changes in mobility patterns. The article begins with explorations for the basic personal push and pull triggers for both daily and touristic mobilities, which can be assumed to have remained unchanged during and after the Coronavirus crisis. We then assess the significances of the COVID-19-related lockdowns, with some special attention given to new mobility habit formations, highlighting the differences between macro-societal imposed habit formations, typical to the pandemic, as compared to individual voluntary habit formations, typical of routine habit formations by individuals. It is speculated that the pre-COVID-19 physical and virtual mobility mix for social contacts will continue, added by virtual group meetings. Post-pandemic shopping will present growth of virtual, as compared to physical, shopping. Home-based work, which was modest before COVID-19, will become widely adopted following the end of the COVID-19 crisis. Finally, we argue for a post-pandemic increased need for touristic vacations, and daily leisure activities at times of more extensive home-based work.
In the past few decades, urban infrastructures in China have seen an enormous upgrade, and due to large-scale urbanization many more investments are due in the coming years. In order to supplement public funding, Public Private Partnerships (PPP) and municipal bonds have recently grown popular in China. The introduction of this new policy does not occur in a void but should be understood as the path-dependent consequence of a historical evolution of funding arrangements for urban development. How have Chinese governments traditionally arranged financing for these extensive investments and how has the emphasis in funding sources shifted over time? We argue that the evolution of urban development financing has gone through three phases (planned economy, reform and pilot, and socialist market economy), each with different emphasis in financial sources. Our analysis demonstrates how weaknesses in earlier phases present challenges that new solutions in later phases are aimed to address.
The rise of post-WWII television markets around the world required new technical solutions for broadcast media. These solutions became novel examples of urban-scale infrastructure, including the “television tower” as a unique structure. Among early American examples is Baltimore’s three-mast “candelabra” television tower, completed in 1959. Although the project’s feasibility depended upon advances in structural design, its most significant innovation was institutional. As an early example of “infrastructure sharing,” Baltimore’s candelabra tower illustrates how innovative built form can engender a new relationship among technology, urban infrastructure, and the production of cultural capital.
Sports championships are major events capable of changing the image of cities and countries. Countries use these mega-events mostly to enhance economic development opportunities, to attract foreign investment, to generate tourism revenues, to regenerate parts of cities, and to increase the population’s self-esteem. However, the major boost seems to come from the marketing strategies. Host countries promote their images as modern, cosmopolitan, and attractive places, ideal to attract footloose capital. The EURO 2004 European Soccer Championship in Portugal was one such mega-event. Portugal constructed new and renovated old stadiums to host the championship. I argue that EURO 2004 was above all a country marketing strategy conducted by the political elite, supposedly with benefits for the country as a whole; nonetheless, the benefits had distinct geographical and societal impacts within a limited timeframe. The key finding is that the EURO 2004 belonged to the same category of events as the EXPO’98 and the Porto 2001, which helped change the image of Portugal, nationally and internationally; however, a constant reliance on mega-events to modernize and make a country more competitive is not sustainable in the long run.
Top-cited authors
Mark Deakin
  • Edinburgh Napier University
Peter Cruickshank
  • Edinburgh Napier University
Sam Allwinkle
  • Edinburgh Napier University
Luca Mora
  • Edinburgh Napier University
Roberto Bolici
  • Politecnico di Milano