February 26, 2020

Gauging Street Change Over Time



  • New study uses Google Street View images to study urban change, is fascinating.
Our findings reinforce the extreme importance of human capital and education at all stages of development. It matters for people’s access to jobs and livelihoods, but it’s also important to their abilities to improve their environments. And the patterns of urban change we see help illustrate why urban inequality persists.
A new joint study between the HBS, Harvard, and the MIT Media Lab, measures how urban areas are changing using computer vision algorithms that examine millions of Google Street View images. This research lends data to a question that is of growing interest to many: Why do places evolve and how much change happens in different cities? With the help of big data and machine learning, we are getting a unique view of such forces as gentrification, urban inequality, and economic development.

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