Friday, October 25, 2013

Value of Time

What is the value of time? We are still not sure how to estimate that. An article by Kenneth Small on "Valuation of Travel Time" discusses what we know about value of time and what we need to know.
"After decades of study, the value of travel time remains incompletely understood and ripe for further theoretical and empirical investigation. Research has revealed many regularities and connections between willingness to pay for time savings and other economic factors including time of day choice, aversion to unreliability, labor supply, taxation, activity scheduling, intra-household time allocation, and out-of-office productivity. Some of these connections have been addressed through sophisticated modeling, revealing a plethora of reasons for heterogeneity in value of time rooted in behavior at a micro scale. This paper reviews what we know and what we need to know. A recurrent theme is that the value of time for a particular travel movement depends strongly on very specific factors, and that understanding how these factors work will provide new insights into travel behavior and into more general economic choices."

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Ride-Thru Cafe

"Zurich’s city council has installed ‘Velokafi’; a drive-in for bicycles on the outdoor terrace of the Rathaus Cafe, which is a popular spot next to the Limmat river. Two wooden docking stations with tabletops enable cyclists to pull up and have some food and a coffee without getting off their bike. A slot in the front for their front wheel to fit through keeps the bicycle steady and there are raised sides for resting their feet on."
See the article here:

Open Data City

A recent artilce on The Atlantics on "The Neighborhood Data Portal Every City Needs" highlights the need for visualizing urban data. Every city should have such open data portal for a better understanding and communicating the linkage between public health, land use, economics, education, crime, transportation and housing.
"Los Angeles has recently done just this, rolling out a web tool as part of its Plan for a Healthy Los Angeles that maps a tremendous number of metrics about life in the region, at both the city and neighborhood scales. "

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Time Maps

Check out this article on "Mapping the 'Time Boundaries' of a City"
"Maps don't typically convey time very well. They're static snapshots of a moment in history. They tell you what exists, not when people go there, or how the value of a place might be tied to time – whether it's a nightlife district or a public park most popular with early-morning joggers."

Defining Downtown

What's the definition of downtown?
See the following article on the Atlantic Cities:

"Last year, the U.S. Census Bureau released a report on population trends in American downtowns, a helpful step toward quantifying the claims made by many cities that residents (and jobs) are moving there in droves (you can view the original report here... whenever the federal government reopens and the Census Bureau's shuttered website comes back online). The Census' blunt definition of "downtown," though, inevitably produced some grousing about over-and under-counts of local populations. It measured “downtown,” for lack of a better universal definition, as everything within a 2-mile radius of the local city hall."