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Urban and Environmental Data Science

Urban and environmental problems are often intertwined. According to the projections by United Nations, 68% of the world's population will be living in urban areas by 2050. Growth is concentrated mostly in developing countries, with China, India and Nigeria accounting for approximately 35% of projected trends. Urban systems (e.g., transportation, public safety and social welfare) frequently already operate on the limit of their capacity and will endure increasing pressures. Urban issues are exacerbated by wider environmental transformations provoked by the climate change, food security and pollution. UN estimates that 275 million people nowadays live in areas that will eventually be flooded if the global temperature raises 3C above pre-industrial levels, while extreme weather events such as storms, heatwaves and heavy rainfall will increase.

In our group we develop data-driven approaches to the understanding of social and environmental challenges, especially in the context of urban phenomena. Research projects include studies of human mobility, crime dynamics and disease spreading, as well as the politics of climate change and how environmental hazards affect societies. Our methods combine a wide range of data types (such as social media, mobile phone data and satellite imagery) and methods (such as complex networks, geospatial data analysis, and machine learning).


Current research projects

  • Hierarchical structures in human mobility and its relationship with city liveability
  • Gender-centred inequalities in human mobility
  • On the influence of micro-behaviours in the spread dynamics of the COVID.
  • Uncovering the socioeconomic facets of human mobility
  • Spatiotemporal variations in the urban rhythm: the travelling waves of crime
  • Spatiotemporal signatures in human mobility patterns
  • The rhythms of predictability in urban mobility
  • Recency effect to human mobility and web browsing behaviours
  • The scaling of crime concentration in cities

Research topics

  • Urban Analytics
  • City Science
  • Human Mobility
  • Transportation Modelling
  • Resilience of Urban Systems
  • Transport network analysis
  • Crime Analytics
  • Human Dynamics
  • Mobility Modelling
  • Disease Spread Modelling
  • Mobility Inequalities