All posts tagged: Cities

In Speaking of Data: Gapminder

This is the start of the third course, Regression Modeling in Practice, in the Data Analysis and Interpretations Specialization by Wesleyan University through Coursera. The first assignment is to provide a description of the data I have been working with – what is the sample, how the data is collected and how I managed the data. If you have been following along with my work, you will know that I am interested in the relationship between urbanization and economic development and am posing the general question of whether urbanization drives economic growth? My sample consists of countries, territories, and other political entities such as disputed territories, dependent territories, or semi-autonomous city-states like Hong Kong. According to Gapminder, where my data was downloaded, this list consists of 193 UN Nations, 51 other entities, 4 French overseas territories, 10 former states, and 2 ad-hoc areas totaling 260 (or N=260). However, because not every entity has data in the indicators I am using, the number of entities in my work is reduced to 164 (or N=164). In the case …

The Moderating Variable

Last Lesson in Data Analysis Tools… If you have not read my previous posts, I am currently enrolled in a Data Analysis Specialization with Wesleyan University through Coursera. With data from Gapminder, I am exploring a broad and basic question: does urbanization drive economic growth? For those of you interested in reading my literature review to gain a background on this project, please visit this page. This is the last lesson in the Data Analysis Tools course. After analyzing for correlations between variables, this assignment focuses on moderating variables. A moderating variable is one that influences the strength and direction of the association between the explanatory and response variables. Last time, I established that there were correlations between the amount of urbanization, as measured by percentage of total population in cities with over 1 million people, urban population growth, and GDP per capita. Additionally, I found that there was a correlation between total populations in cities and urban population growth. I suspect that one of these two variables might be a moderating variable. I first looked at total …

Correlations! Urbanization and Economic Development in Rich and Poor Countries

Continuing with Data Analysis Tools… If you have not read my previous posts, I am currently enrolled in a Data Analysis Specialization with Wesleyan University through Coursera. With data from Gapminder, I am exploring a broad and basic question: does urbanization drive economic growth? For those of you interested in reading my literature review to gain a background on this project, please visit this page. Finally! Quantitative to quantitative variable analysis! This is the lesson I have been waiting for. With my interest in urbanization and economic development, the data I pulled from Gapminder are all quantitative. As I previously mentioned, I do not like categorizing quantitative data because I believe it introduces too much subjectivity. Unless the data is qualitative to begin with, it makes little sense to categorize data. Compared to the other types of correlation tests, Pearson’s Correlation was relatively easy to perform in both Python and SAS. I looked at the relationships between urbanization rate, as measured by both urban population growth rate and percentage of population in large cities with over 1 …

A Revelation…Through ANOVA

Now that I finished the first course in the Data Analysis and Interpretations Specialization, this is the start of the second called Data Analysis Tools.  If you have not read my previous posts, I am currently enrolled in a Data Analysis Specialization with Wesleyan University through Coursera. With data from Gapminder, I am exploring a broad and basic question: does urbanization drive economic growth? For those of you interested in reading my literature review to gain a background on this project, please visit this page. Since I have been presenting my SAS work in the previous course, I will be presenting my Python work for this course. I actually enjoy working with Python, it seems to have more flexibility and I am more used to its language, having some experience with R during graduate school. As always, I am also including the other set of code for reference, so please see my SAS code at the very bottom of the post. There will be two parts to this presentation. The first part will be a discussion of …

Data Visualization Assignment 1 – That Urbanization Thing

“When you are that curious about the world, scholarship never ends.” – October 18, 2015 As I mentioned in my last post, I started the Data Analysis and Interpretations Specialization with Coursera in order to gain more skills relevant to my pursuit of urban studies and interest in urban planning and development. Our assignment for the first week is to develop a research question based on the data sets provided by the course or another data set of our own choice. With my background and interest in cities, I looked through the code books for each data set looking for relevant data. I decided that the Gapminder data set had the information I needed to look into the effects of urbanization globally. Though the scale is on a national level, which can obscure many relationships, particularly the distinction between rural and urban areas and their respective economies, I look forward to comparing the general trends and effects of urbanization. The increasing rate of urbanization has been accompanied by a corresponding rise in number of urban …

Who Decides Our Spaces?

In the past week, there were two news items that came to my attention regarding public space. One is in Hong Kong, where the Town Planning Board is reviewing a plan to extend the Avenue of Stars on the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront. The other is in New York, where the mayor is openly considering the removal of the pedestrian plazas in Time Square. Though the motives and incentives are different, both instances are controversial : they seek to remedy areas that are actually immensely popular (though more for the tourists in the case of Time Square). This brings me to ask, who should be in charge of shaping the urban environments around us? It appears that both in Hong Kong and New York, they appear to employ top-down planning favoring expertise and technical knowledge. Yet, is that really a good approach, especially when most of the decision makers do not necessarily visit or have intimate knowledge of areas they are trying to change. On the other hand, a bottom up approach to planning could …

The Mental Acrobatics of Space

Space has always fascinated me. It is something we experience constantly, but few would pause to give thought about. As a child, I built castles and moats out of rocks and mud. I drew imaginary and fantastic maps. I created cities out of Lego and origami. Yet, I never truly understood the spatial arrangements and relationships between objects. To be honest, despite going to graduate school I still do not completely understand them. In my humble opinion, I believe the interactions between psychology, design, and planning have been quite weak. Why do we prefer smooth edges and straight lines? Why do we have preferences for certain spatial arrangements? Why are certain places more attractive than others, even if they are designed similarly? Why do we prefer to be in the middle of spaces as opposed to the edges? How do we use the space around us and why are some spaces more utilized than others? Certainly, part of the answers to these questions depend on not only personal preferences but also historical and cultural background – …