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Theses Master's

Predictive mapping and its applications for urban planning

Pietraszkiewicz, Eric

If cities of the 21st century are to be, in the words of planners the world over, “just, safe, healthy, accessible, affordable, resilient, and sustainable” (Habitat III), the implementation of planning interventions to these ends requires information about urban spaces and the people who inhabit them. The acquisition of such information depends largely on robust data collection mechanisms, largely absent in many of today’s largest and fastest growing cities. This study investigates the efficacy of predictive mapping, a means of producing demographic data through the interpretation of satellite imagery using machine learning algorithms, as a tool for urban planning through the simulated deployment of the method on five cities in California’s San Joaquin Valley. The study determines the error of predictive mapping models for six different demographic characteristics and suggests that these models tend to produce predictions of relative (as opposed to absolute) accuracy.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Freeman, Lance M.
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
June 29, 2018
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