Big data study to reveal Glasgow’s love for its dear green places

A new two-year study, led by the Urban Big Data Centre at the University of Glasgow and funded by the ESRC, aims to harness the power of de-identified mobile phone data to better understand the use of greenspace throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, with the City of Glasgow acting as case study area. A socio-demographically diverse City-Region with a wealth of open spaces, Glasgow is an ideal location to develop this project.

Lead researcher, Michael Sinclair said: “Digital footprints data generated from the use of mobile phones, offers enormous potential to undertake research which provides important social benefits. By virtue of the volume of data available and wide population coverage, these novel data sources offer an alternative to traditional data to understand greenspace visitation in a way that has not been possible before.

“This project will help researchers better understand the socio-demographic representativeness of new forms of mobile phone data for applied research. It will also develop methodologies to utilise these novel data sources for the study of greenspace visitation at wide spatial scales. Further, the outputs of the project will explore variations in the patterns of greenspace usage in Glasgow across the different stages of the pandemic, including examining social inequalities in use.”

It is hoped that the results and methods developed in the project will provide valuable insights into the representativeness of these novel data while demonstrating the value of digital footprints data as a resource to enhance our parks and greenspaces for the future.

Further details of the research:

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