Urban Discovery, a Vision to Rethink Cities

Jairo Mejía

d&a blog

Late last year Urban Discovery showcased a new way of representing cities based on purchasing behavior. This approach allowed BBVA Data & Analytics examine Madrid, Barcelona and Mexico City under a new light. The insights extracted analyzing patterns of economic behavior helped us redraw the cities beyond the traditional administrative boundaries.

The visualization created by BBVA Data & Analytics and CARTO, for instance, show us that in there could be zones of different economic significance within a district. In the case of Barcelona and Madrid, we analyzed more than 130 million transactions and we discovered the economic mobility of a city, links among areas of the city, and how economic behavior creates what we called macro communities.

Juan de Dios Romero, one of the leading data scientist in this project, has been explaining the potential of this data story, that uses data partly available through BBVA’s Paystats API, in different forums. Last month, he was invited by PiperLab, a radio program hosted at Capital Radio about technology and startups, to analyze the potential for governments, and urban planners of understanding the economic behavior in a big city. He introduced the concept of urban intelligence, a set of tools, practices, and methodologies that could help city planners, small business to understand consumption preferences by area, relations with other zones and urban mobility.

“Juande” invited people with interest in Urban Discovery to download from the website the anonymized dataset used for Urban Discovery, open to new explorations and further discovery.

Below, you can listen to the full audio of his speech: