Mapping the Changing Affordability of Manchester

Building on yesterday’s post about my London affordability maps, here are the equivalent maps for the Manchester area (sorry Liverpool, I’ll get there!) from 1997 and 2012. It’s obviously a very different picture in terms of price, volume and distribution; these differences were well-known anecdotally but a lot of the detail was hidden until the Land Registry opened up its pricing data and, for my money, this represents one of the most useful and timely open data sets available.

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Mapping the Changing Affordability of London

Last night I discovered how many of my friends watch C4’s Dispatches since quite a few of them texted me to say that they had seen me talking about property affordability on “The Great British Property Divide”. However, since Dispatches has to somehow keep the running time down to just 30 minutes, there’s not much of a chance in the show to really explore the data underpinning my chat with Morland. So with that it mind, below are links to A0-sized static data visualisations.

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‘Mapping the Space of Flows’: the geography of the London Mega-City Region

I’m pleased to be able to post here the penultimate version of an article that Duncan Smith and I recently had accepted to Regional Studies. In this article we look at ways of combining ‘big data’ from a telecoms network with standard BRES employment data to generate a more nuanced understanding of where ‘work’ happens in the Greater Southeast of England across several key sectors. Continue reading

Bridging the Qual/Quant Divide

I’ve been in my new post in the Geography department at King’s College London for nearly nine months now and — together with another new-ish colleague — have been asked to design a programme to teach quantitative research methods to students who often seem to think that their interests are solely qualitative. Continue reading

Big Data’s Little Secrets (Part 2)

In my previous post I looked at some of the issues affecting the extent to which ‘big data’ gives a reliable picture of the world around us. In this post I want to take you through one of the least sexy—but most important—parts: the data itself. My point, again, is not to suggest that big data is fatally flawed, but to call into question some of the easy assumptions upon which we rely when working with this type of data, and the universality of the conclusions that we can draw from this type of research.

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Problems of Scale

So on Friday I went to hear my supervisor, Peter Hall, on a panel discussion with Hank Ditmar (of the Prince’s Foundation) and Will Alsop (famous architect/urban designer). The title for the discussion was “The Object, the City & the Region“, which didn’t seem to have a whole lot to do with the actual discussion since that centred on what makes a viable neighbourhood, especially in light of the current UK policy on eco-towns and the high prices of commodities. One of the themes that emerged, at least for me, in all three of the talks and follow-up discussion is the problem of scale: New bedroom communities are designed in one go, usually by one developer, and usually around one vision of what should be offered. Continue reading

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