Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Ramirez T., Hurtubia R., Lobel H. Rossetti T. (2021)

Measuring heterogeneous perception of urban space with massive data and machine learning: An application to safety

Revista : Landscape and Urban Planning
Número : 208
Páginas : 104002
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación


In the last decade, large street imagery data sets and machine learning developments have allowed increasing scalability of methodologies to understand the effects of landscape attributes on the way they are perceived. However, these new methodologies have not incorporated individual heterogeneity in their analysis, even though differences by gender and other sociodemographic characteristics in the perception of safety and other aspects of landscapes and public spaces have been widely studied in social sciences and urban planning in lower scale studies. In the present study, we combine computational and statistical tools to develop a methodological proposal with high scalability and low implementation cost, which helps to identify and measure heterogeneous perception and its correlation to the presence of elements in the landscape. To achieve this, we implement a survey of perception of public spaces, collecting sociodemographic information of respondents. Then, we fit a discrete choice model to quantify perceptions of these spaces using a parametrization of images that jointly considers semantic segmentation and object detection as input. Our results show heterogeneity in the perception of safety in public spaces according to gender and the observer’s habitual mobility choices. The model is then applied to the city of Santiago, Chile. This produces a map of safety perception for different types of users. The proposed method and the obtained results can be a relevant input for the design of public spaces and decision making in the urban planning process.