Urban dynamic in high spatiotemporal resolution: the case study of Porto

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Cities that prioritize sustainability leverage data from daily urban activities to make informed decisions. Research has shown the effectiveness of indicators regarding traffic, public transport, shared mobility, and air quality data to manage and monitor urban systems. However, there has been limited effort to develop composite indicators that represent multiple phenomena in a single metric. We propose a high-resolution spatiotemporal indicator to measure urban dynamic (UDI). We collected hourly data on traffic, public transport usage, e-scooter trips, and air quality in Porto, Portugal. Factor analysis was applied to extract the composite indicator and provide a holistic view of the city's dynamic. Results revealed higher urban dynamic in the northwest and southwest areas in the Aldoar, as well as some areas in Cedofeita and Bonfim parishes. The UDI also showed higher dynamics on business days than on weekends, with the afternoon period displaying the highest dynamic, while traffic flow is variable with the highest impact. Using mobile phone location data, we evaluated the UDI's values, demonstrating its ability to support data-driven decision-making and inform interventions by city planners. The UDI is a tool that helps city planners make informed decisions by providing a comprehensive view of the city's dynamics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104867
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalSustainable Cities and Society
Issue numberNovember
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2023


  • Urban dynamic
  • Composite indicator
  • Factor analysis
  • Geospatial analysis
  • Urban management


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