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The Forth Lecture in the Academic Week Series——How to Activate Urban Vitality
At 14:00 on October 26, the fourth series of freshmen academic lecture was held in C-301. Professor Song Yan brought a wonderful lecture for students from SUPD.The theme is how to activate City vitality - economic analysis based on urban morphology and vitality.

Professor Song is a full-time professor from the Department of urban and regional planning.She is the director of the Chinese Urban Studies Center at the University of North Carolina. Her main research interests are low-carbon sustainable urban planning, urban planning and urban transportation, urban governance and growth management,etc.
 
At the beginning of the lecture, Associate Professor Tong De in our college introduced the academic experience and achievements of Professor Song to everyone, and warmly welcomed the arrival of Professor Song. She hoped that we could get inspiration from thinking and vision through this lecture .
 
The lecture consisted of three parts---- how to measure urban vitality, how city vitality affects the housing prices and commercial real estate, and the frontier of urban vitality research.
 
Professor Song started the presentation with the introduction of "how to measure the urban vitality" and "the relationship between urban form and vitality". The indicator system for measuring urban vitality originates Kevin Lynch. The theory reveals the mutual relations between urban morphology and vitality (such as urban connectivity, density, and the degree of land use, etc.)By establishing the primary and secondary indicators, Professor Song realize the objective measurement of urban vitality (such as density, accessibility, etc.).In her lately research, Professor Song use 547 million big data from Twitter to confirm the significant relationship between urban vitality and urban form. According to the theory of urban morphology and vitality proposed by Kevin Lynch, the index of influencing factors of urban vitality was established. Through the correlation analysis, it was found that urban morphology and urban vitality have a strong correlation.
 

 
In the second part, Professor Song introduced “how city vitality affects the housing prices and commercial real estate”. Based on the established urban vitality index system, more than 400,000 data of house transaction and related data of city commercial real estate, Professor Song carried on Linear analysis to explore how city vitality affects the housing prices and commercial real estate. According to the study of US cities, the team of Professor Song found that the housing prices and commercial real estate prices in US are increased by 16% for each additional unit of urban vitality. Thus, Professor Song pointed out that the improvement of urban vitality have a strong attraction for both consumers and developers. Not only should urban vitality be an important indicator of the development of residential and commercial areas, but also the indicator of urban planners can not be ignored .
 
In the last part, Professor Song introduced the frontiers of urban vitality research(deep learning, convolutional neural networks for image recognition) and future research directions ( ecological and sustainable development).The most impressive is that Professor Song use method of CNN to make an objective assessment of urban vitality, through collecting and analyzing the elements in the Street View pictures(roads, houses, shops,etc).
 
In the subsequent discussion and exchange stage, the students put forward their doubts and thinking on the issue of urban vitality related to the speech. Si Nan asked Professor Song how to apply the research into urban design. Professor Song thought that planners should provide advice to policy-makers on the basis of research and play a role of propaganda. Gan Lu suggested use VR technology and convolutional neural network technology connected to the analysis of street graphs to help establish subjective indicators. The discussion ended in a warm and lively atmosphere.
 
This seminar gave students a deeper understanding of the current urban economics research ,cutting-edge issues and help students further grasp the application of urban economics in urban and regional planning. What’s more ,the lecture provides new perspectives and research methods for  students in the late learning and research.

(Written and photoed by SUN Yiling ;Edited by YI Zhexing)