Social media images of culture can predict economic trends in cities


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The increase and success of a city community is not asserted on economic capital alone– the existence of a dynamic arts, music and science culture is similarly crucial. So states a cutting-edge research study released in Frontiersin Physics, in which scientists utilized social media images of cultural occasions in London and New York City to develop a design that can predict areas where citizens delight in a high level of health and wellbeing– as well as expect gentrification by 5 years. With over half of the world’s population living in cities, the design might assist policymakers guarantee human health and wellbeing in thick city settings.

“Culture has many benefits to an individual: it opens our minds to new emotional experiences and enriches our lives,” statesDr Daniele Quercia, Department Head Nokia Bell Labs, Cambridge, UK. “We’ve known for decades that this ‘cultural capital’ plays a huge role in a person’s success. Our new model shows the same correlation for neighborhoods and cities, with those neighborhoods experiencing the greatest growth having high cultural capital. So, for every city or school district debating whether to invest in arts programs or technology centers, the answer should be a resounding ‘Yes!'”

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The term cultural capital was very first created by French sociologistDr Pierre Bourdieu in the late 1970 s, as a method of understanding how an individual’s understanding, cultural interests, degrees and direct exposure to imaginative pursuits– consisting of travel, art and technological development– are types of ‘wealth’ that people give the ‘social market,’ their individual relationships, and their neighborhoods. Bourdieu showed that individuals with comparable cultural capital have the tendency to connect with each other, instead of going outside these bounds to develop relationships. These relationships draw in individuals of like mind and grow areas and societies.

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WhileBourdieu’s concepts of cultural capital as used to people produced interesting photos of social function, the principle has possibly extensive applications when used to cities and areas. This motived Quercia and associatesDr Desislava Hristova, from the University of Cambridge, andDr Luca M. Aiello, likewise from Nokia Bell Labs, to discover a method to track how cultural capital plays out in city locations.

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The scientists accessed millions of Flickr images taken by individuals going to cultural occasions in London and in New York City over 10 years. The occasions consisted of celebrations, libraries, movie theater, art exhibits, musical efficiencies, technological demonstrations, handicraft craftsmens, dining establishments, museums, paper stands and theater. The group arranged the images, which all had GPS tags showing the location and time taken, into 25 classifications. They likewise cleaned up the information to change for outliers, representing problems such as lots of museums not permitting images of displays and various generations gravitating to various options.

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“We were able to see that the presence of culture is directly tied to the growth of certain neighborhoods, rising home values and median income. Our model can even predict gentrification within five years,” statesQuercia “This could help city planners and councils think through interventions to prevent people from being displaced as a result of gentrification.”

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“We already have data from wearable technology showing that both the 2016 US presidential election and 2016 Brexit referendum greatly impacted people’s sleep and even heart rates,” includesAiello “Information on cultural consumption could similarly be used to track the impacts of large-scale change.”

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The design does have a couple of restrictions. First, it just works for first-rate cities, such as London, New York or possibly Tokyo, where the penetration rates of social media are adequately high. The method likewise does not work for populations that are not tech savvy as it depends upon the independent usage of technology and software application by individuals to record genuine images of what relocations them.

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The design likewise does not discuss exactly what triggers gentrification– specifically, which takes place initially: increasing cultural offerings that reorient social identity and therefore, capital, or individuals looking for more cultural capital as they climb up the economic ladder. Somewhere in this complicated formula is the as-yet unidentified artist/chef searching for an inexpensive studio/kitchen who motivates a customers and a brand-new generation of artists/chefs.

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Even so, the insights created by this and other designs might assist individuals to effectively live in thick city settings– a significantly pertinent concern. The United Nations approximates that 54 percent of the world’s population lived in city environments in 2014 and forecasts the figure to increase to 69 percent by 2050.

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“Next, we want to measure the relative health of communities, looking at the availability of healthy food, farmer’s markets, sports, parks, beautiful architecture and so forth,” statesQuercia “By overlaying different maps upon each other, we can create a vertically integrated map showing how exposures to different influences can accurately reflect a neighborhood’s sense of wellbeing.”.


Explore even more:
Gentrification draws more whites to minority areas.

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More info:
DesislavaHristova et al, The New Urban Success: How Culture Pays, Frontiersin Physics(2018). DOI: 10.3389/ fphy.201800027

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