Phil Silver
Phil is director of business development for Urban Insights, responsible for managing industry engagement around the firm’s consulting services and technology offerings. He brings nearly 25 years’ experience of new market development in both the public and private sectors, and speaks regularly on developing new multi-modal urban mobility models that combine traveler convenience with real-time predictive demand management tools for operators and authorities.

Urbanomics Mobility Project

Friday, October 09, 2015

Urbanomics Mobility Project: Opportunity to leverage transit analytics capabilities with MasterCard’s consumer reporting

Historically, detailed information about the interrelationships between urban travel and how it relates to cultivating or maintaining a healthy economy has not been available to inform urban growth strategies.  Welcome, The Urbanomics Mobility Project.  The Urbanomics Mobility Project leverages Urban Insights’ #transit analytics capabilities with MasterCard’s commerce and economic activity reporting to better understand these factors. It establishes many firsts by applying data science directly to the smart cities movement and urban and commercial planning. It is the first time urban planners and developers have unprecedented visibility into the population’s economic impact within an urban environment and the transportation network that supports it.

In cities, population demographics are quite varied, and data about individuals’ spending and economic impact associated with geographies are less clear. The way people move about is more amorphous than in suburban sprawl, where choices made are determined by available transportation options and personal preferences, such as willingness to walk and tolerance for travel times.

In the Urbanomics Mobility Project, we call this paradigm the travel horizon—the relative ease with which a person can access particular locations to conduct necessary and elective personal business. The shape, or spatial footprint, of an individual’s travel horizon can be quite unique based upon mode preferences, the distance or time a person is willing to travel, cost and convenience.

The Urbanomics Mobility Project will be officially launched in Washington, D.C. at Smart Cities Week on September 15, 2015 and available commercially in early 2016.  With the launch of the Project, will be the delivery of a new data gathering and analysis platform for planning smart cities, growing economies, and putting in place the necessary transportation infrastructure and services.

According to Shyam, Kannan, Professor of Urban and Regional Planning, Georgetown University and Managing Director, Office of Planning, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority:

“The urban investor community has been at a competitive disadvantage to their suburban counterparts because of the paucity of reliable data to quantify the market potential of urban neighborhoods. The national investment models have no way to quantify the impact of urban people generators – museums, transit hubs, fabulous public parks, walkable urban neighborhoods – on market potential. This project holds the promise of actually quantifying the upside of the urban marketplace, which will provide investors an underwritable blueprint for investment strategies for urban neighborhoods and cities as a whole.” 

The data assets and tools resulting from the Urban Mobility Project will be compelling to decision makers and planners for public and private sector entities such as:

  • Transit Authorities and Agencies – ability to recognize underserved locations and pockets of opportunity leading to a balanced mobility
  • Land-Use Authorities – gaining better understanding of where critical services and amenities are needed to drive sustainable urban growth
  • Economic developers, site consultants, relocation firms, real estate trusts and investors
  • Urban planners, city and regional governments, public service agencies, real estate developers and commercial businesses
  • Social Services – ability to provision services where they are most accessible to the populations that need them
  • Retailers and Merchants – having visibility into the categories of products and services that may be underrepresented or absent for particular communities

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