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Urban data

If you want to know more about how Urban data analytics can help you contact Darryl Chen

Urban data science and analytics is critical to helping cities evolve, providing invaluable insight into urban processes, dynamics within cities, and highlighting local and global issues.

We use proprietary software and develop our own tools to ask new and often complex questions about cities, their economy and how they relate to the local and global environment, and much more.

We are commissioned by local authorities, private clients, and leading industry luminaries to guide, shape, and share insights into the world around us and the big issues we all face.

Urban data analytics in action

Creative Places Create Value The Creative Land Trust

Park Royal Intensification Study Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation

The Creative Land Trust

The Creative Land Trust (CLT) is a charity which is trying to tackle a long-standing problem for London and other cities – the rapid loss of affordable workspace for artists and makers and the resulting threat to the cultural and creative DNA of these places.

The CLT challenged us to quantify the value added by creative workspace to new residential developments, translating the widely acknowledged ‘soft value’ of creative neighbourhoods, into a ‘hard value’ that can be accepted by investors and developers for use in evaluating development opportunities, encouraging them to re-examine the risk-return trade-off of creative workspace as a ground floor use.

In collaboration with Ramidus and Dataloft, we analysed house price data across a range of time periods and creative workspace locations, looking for price change or differentials associated with the presence of creative workspace. We undertook case studies of clusters and schemes across London and the Thames Estuary. These were either creative clusters (localities with multiple creative workspaces) or standalone schemes, where creative workspace had been included in a residential scheme. We also carried out a risk analysis based on a hypothetical residential scheme, where we modelled three different scenarios for ground floor use.

Quantitative research was backed up with qualitative research, which included expert interviews and a short questionnaire survey to canvas views on the relationship between creative workspace and demand for and/or value of residential property. Interviews were carried out among residential developers, estate agents, creative workspace operators and local authorities.

Research showed that house prices in creative clusters in London outperformed the average by 4.4% per annum over 10 years and by 3.3% per annum in towns along the Thames Estuary over five years.

You can download the full report, complete with quantitative and qualitative analysis and full case studies here.

Park Royal Intensification Study 

Although socio-economically essential, industrial land in London has come under immense pressure from rivalling higher-value uses.  It therefore needs to become more efficiently used to be able to compete and continue to provide jobs for the growing city.

We were commissioned by the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation (OPDC) to identify the intensification potential of the Park Royal industrial estate in north west London. Situated within the London Plan’s ‘western wedge’ which includes Heathrow, Wembley, and White City; Park Royal is of regional importance as an economic base.

We developed a software tool to automate the process of appraising several sites across the estate and find plots with a similar potential.  This sped up what would have been a painstakingly slow testing process and allowed future applications to be carried out with a simple software update. The tool has a simple and intuitive interface, so that it can be used by non-technical staff once our commission was complete.

The project was awarded the Planning Award 2018 in the category ‘Innovative Use of Technology’.