Tracking urban activity growth globally with big location data
Daggitt, Matthew L.
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In recent decades, the world has experienced rates of urban growth unparalleled in any other period of history and this growth is shaping the environment in which an increasing proportion of us live. In this paper, we use a longitudinal dataset from Foursquare, a location-based social network, to analyse urban growth across 100 major cities worldwide. Initially, we explore how urban growth differs in cities across the world. We show that there exists a strong spatial correlation, with nearby pairs of cities more likely to share similar growth profiles than remote pairs of cities. Subsequently, we investigate how growth varies inside cities and demonstrate that, given the existing local density of places, higher-than-expected growth is highly localized while lower-than-expected growth is more diffuse.
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