Luminocity GB

An interactive platform for urban data geeks or anyone who just wants to look at something pretty.

Duncan Smith, a researcher at the London School of Economics, just launched a spell-binding visualization of population and employment density across British cities that turns otherwise dry government data on urban form into something akin to art.

The platform, called Luminocity, illustrates the pockets of more than a dozen cities where jobs are the most densely clustered, where population density has grown (or declined) in the last decade, and where patterns in employment and and new development reveal the underlying shape of changing cities.

The lightest patches in the above map of London have the highest population density, as of 2011. In this map, the lightest patches have gained the most population density since 2001, while the magenta blocks have lost the most:

Here are similar pictures of the change in population density in central Glasgow and Manchester:

Returning to London, its densest employment nodes, again in white, are clearly visible as of 2011:

And here are the much smaller job hubs in Bristol:

You can tour any of the cities here. Clicking on individual parts of the city in the application will also produce detailed statistics on the change in jobs and population, should you be interested in more than just the lovely pictures.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. a photo of Zurich, Switzerland
    Life

    Death to Livability!

    What does it really mean when certain kinds of cities keep getting ranked as the world’s “most livable”?

  2. A rendering of Quayside, the waterfront development now being planned for Toronto.
    Solutions

    A Big Master Plan for Google's Growing Smart City

    Google sibling company Sidewalk Labs has revealed its master plan for the controversial Quayside waterfront development—and it’s a lot bigger.

  3. A photo of Donald Trump in the Oval Office, with HUD Secretary Ben Carson.
    Equity

    Don’t Call Trump’s Housing Order a YIMBY Plan

    The president just signed an executive order calling for states and cities to pursue zoning reform. But affordable housing advocates aren’t celebrating.

  4. Four young adults exercise in a dark, neon-lit gym.
    Life

    Luxury Gyms Invite You to Work Out, Hang Out, Or Just Work

    With their invite-only policies and coworking spaces, high-end urban gyms aspire to be fitness studio, social club, and office rolled into one.

  5. Environment

    Paris Wants to Grow ‘Urban Forests’ at Famous Landmarks

    The city plans to fill some small but treasured sites with trees—a climate strategy that may also change the way Paris frames its architectural heritage.

×