Theses Master's

Beyond the Blue Dot: A Storytelling Platform for Humanizing Urban Data

Oniyangi, Tola

his capstone project proposes a novel approach to crafting narratives from existing place-based data. By combining elements of creative storytelling with traditional quantitative data, the project provides an avenue for poetism in the urban research process. To this end, the project is a web-based visualization tool for exploring the city at the human scale that stems from the idea that empathy can arise from “walking a mile in a person’s shoes.”
This project introduces empathy into urban research through a replicable methodology for generating location-based synthetic narratives from existing large-scale data, such as census data. It fills a void in understanding the people who inhabit a location by describing them through stories from their own perspectives. Its central hypothesis is that you can better understand a place by engaging with narratives of its inhabitants. With this platform, I am proposing a humanistic counterpoint to the current dominant paradigm of top-down modernist urban analysis and research that pervades through urban planning and design.


  • thumnail for OniyangiTola_GSAPPUP_2020_Capstone.pdf OniyangiTola_GSAPPUP_2020_Capstone.pdf application/pdf 3.52 MB Download File

More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Vanky, Anthony
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
August 12, 2020