The Urban Attitudes Lab studies how Big Data can be harnessed, studied, and interpreted to improve urban planning and public policy practice.  Through the use of sophisticated data acquisition tools and sentiment analysis, the UAL is advancing knowledge and developing new tools to improve planning and policy.  We are pleased to announce the publication of our book, Urban Social Listening: Potential and Pitfalls for Using Microblogging Data in Studying Cities (Palgrave/Springer).

The Urban Attitudes Lab is directed by Prof. Justin Hollander.

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We presented early findings of our examination of Twitter data at the Tufts University’s “Research Day on Data Science“.  Our work was also presented at the peer-reviewed National Science Foundation sponsored symposium “Workshop on Big Data and Urban Informatics” in Chicago, and then at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning annual conference in Philadelphia.


Early funding for the Urban Attitudes Lab was provided by the Tufts University Office of the Vice Provost for Research through its Tufts Collaborates! program.  We are also grateful for additional support in 2014 from the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy to help us continue to explore the validity and reliability of social media data to support urban planning.