Rachel Franklin recently joined Newcastle University as professor of geographical analysis in the University's initiative in Spatial Analytics and Modeling ([email protected]) and in the Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS). Prior to Newcastle, she was the associate director of Brown University's initiative in spatial structures in the social sciences (S4), in the U.S. She is trained as a quantitative human geographer and her research focus is in spatial demography and the interplay between spatial analytics and demographic change, in particular quantifying patterns, sources and impacts of spatial inequality.
A challenging aspect of urban analytics, in particular smart city technologies and implementation, is the potential to create or reinforce socio-economic and demographic spatial inequalities within urban areas in terms of types of data collected, spatial coverage, and uncertainty. Franklin's Turing project focuses on the identification of coverage gaps and the investigation of how such gaps are associated with locations of vulnerable populations. Project aims are to generate measures of sensor "deserts" and populations at risk for use with sensor data products; to increase understanding of links between dynamics of population movements and sensor coverage; and to facilitate the development of smart city 'best practices' that maximise the value of urban analytics data for policy making and assessment.