SENSEable City Study of Commuting Times

How much commuting can you tolerate? A new study by DUSP researchers shows that across countries, people assess their commutes by the time it takes them to complete the trip, generally independent of the distance they have to travel — as long as they have a variety of commuting options to chose from.
The study, which compares commuting practices in five locations on four continents, also demonstrates the methodological validity of using mobile phone data to create an accurate empirical picture of commuting.

New SPURS Newsletter

DUSP's Special Program for Urban and Regional Studies (SPURS) has issued the 2014 edition of their group newsletter, including updates from the Director, coverage of the Abdulaziz Alkhedheiri Leadership Seminar and SPURS's collaboration with Roxbury Community College, an artlcle on Mobility Management in China, and more.  Click the link in the sidebar to download.

A Planning Paradigm for Electrification in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Case Study of Tanzania

Sarah Dimson (MCP '14) investigated electrification in Sub-Saharan Africa, where a lack of clean electricity generation sources, poor electricity access and low levels of electricity consumption are profoundly stifling sustainable development.  This thesis presents a specialized investigation, in context of Tanzania, of the primary paradigmatic approaches to electrification – centralized, large-scale grid systems conceived through least-cost-planning; and decentralized, small-scale off-grid systems administered through entrepreneurial pilots.

Redefining the Typology of Land Use In the Age of Big Data

Liqun Chen (MCP '14) thesis concludes that land use classification is important as a standard for land use description and management.  However, current land use classification systems are problematic. Labels such as “residential use” and “commercial use” do not fully reveal how the land use is used in terms of function, mix use and changes over time. As a result, land use planning is often a natural prompt of segregation; Land use is poorly connected with other fields of urban studies such as transportation and energy consumption.

In the News: IKEA to Use MIT Living Wage Calculator

Data from the MIT "Living Wage Calculator" show the gap between the cost of living modestly in the US and the minimum and poverty wage rates. Amy Glasmeier, professor of economic geography and regional planning, began developing the calculator a decade ago while studying the causes of recurrent poverty. Besides contributing data to discussions on raising the minimum wage, the tool and Glasmeier’s comments in Slice of MIT illustrate why higher wages help everybody.