International students mine Westminster 24 hour city data

Tue, 21/03/2017

The Centre for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP), which is based at New York University, organised the event, gathering their brightest and best data science students, who were joined by others from King’s College London and the University of Warwick. Westminster City Council supplied exclusive night-time economy data to understand better how cities work.

Westminster has one of the most vibrant and culturally unique night time economies in the world, it is growing and diversifying, and currently generates £3.2 billion in economic benefit.

The students worked with council data but filled in the gaps using open data and information from other sources, such as social media, to give a richer understanding of the night time economy in Westminster. Early insights revealed:

  • public perception of the night tube has improved since it was introduced
  • having a variety of different types of evening and night time entertainment may foster a greater sense of wellbeing
  • the night tube has brought more people to venues close to night tube stations, but not areas further away from them.

London will soon be the first city to build upon the success of CUSP, which leads in the field of urban science and informatics, as the University of Warwick, King’s and New York University are soon to open the London Centre for Urban Science and Progress, in the City of Westminster.

Cllr Antonia Cox, Westminster City Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Protection and Licensing, said: “Maintaining a harmonious balance between the growing and evolving demands of a 24 hour city and the interests of our residents is a key concern for me. So I was delighted to welcome skilled data science students from London, Warwick and New York, to help us interpret and understand our data better and to inform the council’s new vision for the 24 hour city, which will be announced very soon.”

Professor Stephen Jarvis, the Academic Lead at the University of Warwick for CUSP, said: “I want to thank Westminster City Council and their partners who have supported us throughout the week and shared the fascinating data they hold. We were impressed with the work the council have already done and they are a great team to work with. It was a privilege for the students to help the council advance even further. We look forward to working with them again and hope other local authorities follow their lead in using data and working with academia.”

Last updated: 10 April 2017
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