Extracting Contextual Emotion Information for Spatial Planning

Real-time “People as Sensors and Social Media”

General Urban Emotions Concept: Wearable Sensors, People as Sensors and Social Media.

The spatial and social structures of a city such as buildings, the transport infrastructure, parks as well as the dynamic nature of human activities and its underlying processes can trigger different collective and individual human emotions as a person’s response to such urban contexts. However, the integration of such human urban emotions into citizen-centric spatial planning processes is a major challenge in order to contribute to a fundamentally changing understanding of spatial and regional planning.

The goal of the Urban Emotions project is to analyse the trends of real-time human sensory and crowdsourcing approaches in social networks for the extraction of contextual emotion information for decision support in spatial planning and to develop it further to an innovative methodology for the domain of urban and regional planning. This methodology includes the correlation between emotions extracted from psycho-physiological smartband sensor measurements (People as Sensors) and different VGI datasets (Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, etc.). Herein, the topics of data privacy and handing personalised data are inherently considered.

The results of the Urban Emotions project will give new and additional insights into the complex human-sensor-city relationship. These insights will be enabled by means of novel visualization techniques of the data analysed and their preparation for urban planning processes to validate existing planning measures. This is demonstrated through a showcase in the cities of Heidelberg, Kaiserslautern and Boston (USA). Planning practitioners receive an appropriate overview of methods which can be used as an additional recommendation for further action.

Urban Emotion Map: Cyclists’ Emotions in Boston.


Project Lead: Bernd Resch

Researchers involved: Günther Sagl, Mark Padgham, Andreas Petutschnig, Veronika Priesner, Martin Sudmanns, Anja Summa, Clemens Havas

Project Partners:
Technical University of Kaiserslautern
Harvard University, Center for Geographic Analyis
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Civic Data Design Lab
Heidelberg University, Chair of GIScience
Research Studios Austria, Studio iSPACE

Funding Agencies: FWF (Austrian Science Fund) /DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft