AMS City Rhythm Publication

“City Rhythm, logbook of an exploration” was launched on April 19th.

The City Rhythm study explores the potential of using rhythm analyses for enhancing social safety in neighborhoods in the Netherlands. Nine case studies were carried out over a year by an interdisciplinary research team with social sciences, humanities, arts and computer sciences backgrounds. The outcomes of the research are now presented in the publication City Rhythm, logbook of an exploration”.

Rhythm in the physical world happens both in space as well as in time. The team formulated the basic concept and terminology for the City Rhythm Data Model (CRDM). This consists of beats, base and street rhythms. Beats are defined by the state of specific area at a specific moment in time. As an example of a state, a street might have lots of cars, few cars, or no cars at all. Street rhythms show significant transitions over time for the specific area. The base rhythm of an area is defined by comparison to other areas. These derived rhythms are like a musical meter. In this specific context, individual street rhythms develop. Street rhythms represent a variation around a few specific themes.

Illustration presenting the participating cities with 7 base rhythms, each base rhythm corresponding to an area of 500x500m, by Lene Böhnke, Thu Vu, Pinar Sefkatli.

The City Rhythm Data Model (CRDM), based on mixtures of hidden Markov models, is built and run with open and linked data from the Central Bureau for Statistics (CBS) of the Netherlands. Areas can be represented using sizes in different datasets. City Rhythm worked with areas of 500 by 500 meters.

The choice of datasets is defined by mapping upon the YUTPA framework (acronym for being with You in Unity of Time, Place and Action) which indicates trade-offs for trust. In the validation session of the City Rhythm Data Model, it is concluded that the general experience of social safety of specific areas is reflected in CRDM base rhythms. For being able to understand which specific data constitute a beat (or “state”) and for understanding specific street rhythms, further research is necessary.

To conclude, City Rhythm indicates that analyses of rhythm, in the physical world as well as in the related data domain, offer a potential new approach for policymaking.

More information on the research project can be found here.

City Rhythm is a collaboration of TU Delft, Wageningen University and Research, AMS Institute, 6 Dutch cities – Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, Zaanstad, Zoetermeer, Helmond, Amsterdam Health and Technology Institute (ahti), Delph Business Intelligence and Blooming Data.