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Urban Big Data Report by Urban Economics Lab Published

January, 2018

Cambridge, MA

A new report by Richard Barkham (CBRE), Sheharyar Bokhari, and Albert Saiz (MIT Center for Real Estate) has been published. Hear from leading experts in the field about the future of cities and the impact of technology. 

Be sure to check out “Urban Big Data: City Management and Real Estate Markets“.


In this report, we discuss recent trends in the application of urban big data and their impact on real estate markets.  We expect such technologies to improve quality of life and the productivity of cities over the long run.

We forecast that smart city technologies will reinforce the primacy of the most successful global metropolises at least for a decade or more. A few select metropolises in emerging countries may also leverage these technologies to leapfrog on the provision of local public services. In the long run, all cities throughout the urban system will end up adopting successful and cost-effective smart city initiatives. Nevertheless, smaller-scale interventions are likely to crop up everywhere, even in the short run.  Such targeted programs are more likely to improve conditions in blighted or relatively deprived neighborhoods, which could generate gentrification and higher valuations there.

It is unclear whether urban information systems will have a centralizing or suburbanizing impact. They are likely to make denser urban centers more attractive, but they are also bound to make suburban or exurban locations more accessible.