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Photo: Adobe Stock

In the era of Big Data — where public and private data is abundant, and keeps growing — everyday residents might not realize how they generate volumes of data throughout their days in ways that are both innocent and serious; visibly apparent and covert. Their data reveals both mundane and intimate details about their habits, movements, and lifestyles.

Every time a person uses an app to order a meal, log their 10,000 steps, look up driving directions, buy a coffee, or report a public works issue, they’re generating data. As consumers, we appreciate the conveniences this connected world provides. We…

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Photo: Claudio Schwarz

Replica reveals where Alameda County, CA planners can build alternative infra that will be used, useful, and safe.

When vehicle trips are replaced by bike trips, cities enjoy reduced congestion, air pollution reductions, and traffic safety improvements. In recent years, local and regional governments have recognized the benefits of robust cycling infrastructure, but the limited availability of financial resources to fund new infrastructure has forced planners to make difficult decisions about where to target upgrades to meet existing and latent demand. Traditional tools, like physical counts and stakeholder outreach, add cost and schedule.

Fortunately, Replica makes it easy to quickly identify where bike trips are occurring and where they’re being made by people who may not have access…

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Photo: Jeffrey Blum

Can this trend be maintained safely?

By Eric Goldwyn and Elif Ensari

Replica works with academics like Eric and Elif to uncover insights in, and explore new ways of working with, its data. If you are a researcher interested in exploring Replica data, please contact us here.

When looking at the change in travel behavior across the United States in 2020 — a year marked by the Coronavirus pandemic and resulting lockdowns and remote work — vehicle miles traveled by residents of cities across the US plummeted, creating an opportunity for urban planners to invest in alternate modes of transportation, accommodating a post-pandemic normal in which…

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Photo by Kelly Sikkema

The story of mode split in Boston.

If you were to look at the impact of COVID-19 on travel through the lens of overall movements, the story is pretty straight forward: A massive crash in March, with trip volume down over 50% across the country. A slow, but steady recovery since, with trip volume about three-quarters of the way back to pre-pandemic “normal.”

But this high-level perspective obscures massive changes occurring in how people choose to travel — whether they choose to take trips by car, on the train, walking or on a bike. As trip volume returns, new patterns are forming. And while these may be…

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Source: Federal Highway Administration Research & Technology

Cities are first and foremost labor markets — facilitators of people finding work and getting to work. As such, a significant portion of our land use, transit and infrastructure planning efforts are in service of workplace accessibility. Much like parking lots are designed around Black Friday, many cities are designed around the AM and PM commute load. Land use policy is generally done from the workplace out — a series of concentric circles out from the central business district. Even the geographic footprint of cities is generally bound by a 60–90 minute commute. …

The business model of the built environment is broken. Communities have long felt the strain of housing shortages, aging transit systems, and a shifting retail landscape; the COVID-19 crisis pushed them to the breaking point and exposed the shortcomings of how we plan and manage cities. There are two driving factors:

  1. The default planning process uses long-ago data to forecast a far-away future. Historically, getting trustworthy, near-past data was both difficult, fraught with inconsistencies and undervalued. Combine this with a traditional mindset to only think about planning and policy with a 25 year lens. Add in a reliance on consulting…

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Image: CDC

Replica is a data platform for the built environment. We deliver recent insights into how people live and work by providing a collective representation of the built environment — people, mobility, economic activity, and land use — so you can understand the relationships and trade-offs behind every decision you make.

We use machine learning technology to turn billions of de-identified data points into insights, providing a quick and accessible way to combine traditional data about cities (like Census data) with new sources of data (like smartphones and payment data). …

A recent survey by the National League of Cities and U.S. Conference of Mayors found that 50–76% of mayors anticipate having to cut public services while remaining responsive to residents’ needs. Nowhere is this more apparent than how residents are moving within their cities and regions to access jobs, essential services and other activities. Below, for example, we show how many New Yorkers have reduced their subway rides causing ridership recovery to stagnate while others have opted for other modes of transportation.

For agencies in charge of delivering these public services amidst declining revenues, COVID-19 response and recovery presents an…

While the far-reaching impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic come into sharper focus, one thing is certain: the crisis is reshaping our cities, both physically and socially. This includes thinking about how we work and what we value in our workplace.

Not surprisingly, these questions are of particular importance to large employers and landlords. WeWork asked Replica to be its data partner in a white paper that addresses the impact COVID-19 will have on the way we work and commute. You can read the full paper here.

Below, we’ve highlighted some of the results from the analysis we found most…

We, at Replica, are grieving the senseless loss of Black lives due to persistent and systemic racial injustices in our country. We stand in solidarity with peaceful protestors who continue to raise our collective consciousness about structural racism and the need for actionable, meaningful change.

But in spite of the threat, or because of it, the people who plant the seeds of movements make a critical decision: they decide to live divided no more. They decide no longer to act on the outside in a way that contradicts some truth about themselves that they hold deeply on the inside. …


Replica is a data platform for the built environment. Our mission is to make complex and rapidly-changing cities easier to understand.

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