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27 February 2019

Conquer the Divided Cities

Considering the recent increase of socioeconomic segregation in cities worldwide, scholars of urban technology Carlo Ratti and Yang Xu put forward a new metric with which to study and counter such a phenomenon. While past research has focused on residential segregation, this article argues that segregation needs to be tracked more dynamically: across the urban environment and not just at home; through time and not just space; and by monitoring its presence in social space and not just physical space. These methods require more dynamic data as well: Ratti and Xu argue for the greater cost-effectiveness and possibilities presented by mobile-phone data. They conclude by speculating on some design actions cities could take to encourage greater mixing between different groups.

By Yang Xu and Carlo Ratti in Towards a New Enlightenment? A Transcendent Decade.