Images on social media can predict the well being of neighborhoods – TechCrunch


The photographs that seem on social media – blissful folks consuming, cultural happenings, and smiling canines – can really predict the probability neighborhood is “wholesome” in addition to its degree of gentrification.

From the report:

So says a groundbreaking research printed in Frontiers in Physics, by which researchers used social media photos of cultural occasions in London and New York Metropolis to create a mannequin that may predict neighborhoods the place residents get pleasure from a excessive degree of wellbeing — and even anticipate gentrification by 5 years. With greater than half of the world’s inhabitants dwelling in cities, the mannequin may assist policymakers guarantee human wellbeing in dense city settings.

The thought is predicated on the idea of “cultural capital” – the extra there may be, the higher the neighborhood turns into. For instance, if there are various footage of enjoyable occasions in a sure spot you’ll be able to anticipate a better degree of well-being in that space’s denizens. The analysis additionally means that investing in arts and tradition will actively enhance a neighborhood.

“Tradition has many advantages to a person: it opens our minds to new emotional experiences and enriches our lives,” stated Dr. Daniele Quercia. “We’ve identified for many years that this ‘cultural capital’ performs an enormous function in an individual’s success. Our new mannequin reveals the identical correlation for neighborhoods and cities, with these neighborhoods experiencing the best development having excessive cultural capital. So, for each metropolis or college district debating whether or not to put money into arts applications or expertise facilities, the reply needs to be a powerful ‘Sure!’”

The Cambridge-based crew checked out “thousands and thousands of Flickr photos” taken at cultural occasions in New York and London and overlaid them on maps of those cities. The findings, as we will think about, have been apparent.

“We have been in a position to see that the presence of tradition is straight tied to the expansion of sure neighborhoods, rising dwelling values and median earnings. Our mannequin may even predict gentrification inside 5 years,” stated Quercia. “This might assist metropolis planners and councils suppose by means of interventions to forestall folks from being displaced on account of gentrification.”

The crew expects to have the ability to assess the well being of residents utilizing the identical technique, overlaying footage of meals on maps with a view to discover meals deserts and spots the place cafes and croissants are on the rise. Simply think about: all these Instagrammed pictures of your favourite sandwiches will some day assist researchers construct happier cities.

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