Spatial Signatures: understanding (urban) spaces through form and function

Tuesday 16 March 2021
15:00 - 16:30 (GMT)
Online (via Zoom)

Dr Dani Arribas-Bel - senior lecturer in Geographic Data Science at the Department of Geography and Planning of the University of Liverpool - will be presenting at this UBDC research seminar.

Following Dr Arribas-Bel's presentation, there will be the opportunity for attendees to pose questions.


This talk will introduce the notion of “spatial signatures”, a characterisation of space based on form and function designed to understand urban environments. How the building blocks that make up cities are spatially arranged influences social, economic and environmental outcomes. Despite being of interest to a wide variety of scholars, we have little quantitative intelligence that is applicable at scale and timely, in part because definition and measurement are challenging. Spatial signatures provide a conceptual framework that is theory-informed, data-driven and generalisable. After a motivation, we will cover the main ideas that make up spatial signatures in the abstract, and will illustrate those with an application to a few cities around the world.

Speaker biography

Dani Arribas-Bel is interested in computers, cities, and data. He is a senior lecturer in Geographic Data Science at the Department of Geography and Planning of the University of Liverpool. Prior to his appointment in 2015, Dani held positions at the University of Birmingham, the VU University in Amsterdam, Arizona State University, and Universidad de Zaragoza. He holds honorary positions at the University of Chicago’s Center for Spatial Data Science, the Center for Geospatial Sciences of the University of California Riverside, and the Smart Cities Chair of Universitat the Barcelona. Dani’s research interests combine urban studies, computational methods and new forms of data. His research has been published in journals such as PLOS ONE, Demography, Geographical Analysis, or Environment and Planning (A/B/C), and he is also member of the development team of PySAL, the Python library for spatial analysis. Dani currently serves as co-editor of the journal “Environment and Planning B - Urban Analytics & City Science” and the “Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A - Statistics in Society”, and chairs the Quantitative Methods Research Group of the Royal Geographical Society.


Registration for this online event is available via Eventbrite and full details and instructions for joining will be circulated post-registration.