Urban Perception Study

[2013] This study explores the perception of safety, class and uniqueness in the cities of Boston, New York, Salzburg and Linz. The researchers find that the cityscapes of Boston and New York are more contrasting, or unequal, than those of Linz and Salzburg. They also validate their measures by exploring the connection between these city scapes and homicides, finding a significant correlation between the perceptions of safety and class and the number of homicides in a NYC zip code, after controlling for the effects of income, population, area and age. The results show that online images can be used to create reproducible quantitative measures of urban perception and characterize the inequality of different cities. This study forms a fascinating introduction to the way people perceive urban environments. It is an interesting read for urban professionals involved in the (re)creation of urban spaces, which provides insight into the different ways urban environments could be improved.

Salesses P, K. Schechtner, CA Hidalgo (2013) The Collaborative Image of The City: Mapping the Inequality of Urban Perception. PLoS ONE 8(7): e68400. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0068400

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