Revisiting the

Spatial Definition

of Neighborhood Boundaries:

Functional Clusters


Administrative Neighborhoods



In recent years, big data and in particular social media data have been used to observe the city and define new areas of study that allow researchers to set different approaches to acquire knowledge about the city.


“They have created opportunities to visualize and explore human-environment connections that were previously invisible”.


These new approaches make scholars and planners capable of studying intangible parameters linked to places  through layers of information. 

These layers allow to define invisible image of the city beyond its spatial form through the study of data. In other words, this approach to the city would be formed by a set of individual significations, experiences and perceptions that constitute complex system with a phenomenological approach. Cities are a hybrid space where intangible layers merge with physical space.

Data visualization and GIS tools allow us to extract socio-spatial information from raw data sources and make it suitable for urban analysis and evaluation.

Projects listed here are developed within great multi-disciplinary teams at SPIN UNIT Lab Helsinki, Finland; SPIN UNIT Tallinn, Estonia, and the CityScienceLab* at HafenCity University in Hamburg, Germany.

*Undergoing restructuring

see also "Digital City Science"





Spatial configuration of places cannot be considered the only driver of life in the city, as online interactions take a role in the process that must be acknowledged. Unprecedented tools, methods, techniques and trans-disciplinary perspectives are currently being tested and deployed in this new field of research.

Architectural design projects listed here were developed in Jaime Sepulcre Arquitecturas in Elche, Spain (2015-2016) in COCO Studio in Alicante, Spain (2017), in BERSAM Gestión Arquitectónica in El Campello, Spain (2018), or as freelance work (2017-2019).

graphic, web, and product design



The novelty of this research field and the enormous creative and evolutionary capacity of data platforms aim to be initial approaches that provide a multidisciplinary discourse to support further studies on why and how to look at cities, acknowledging their multiple and contemporary dimensions, and testing innovative methods and perspectives to exploit these resources. 

These academic work is performed as a part of research at the University of Alicante, Spain (2015-2019), as R+D in SPIN Unit Lab Helsink-Tallinn (2016-ongoing), at the HafenCity University in Hamburg, Germany (2018-ongoing) or as independent work.

Some of the papers listed here were also presented in international symposiums and congresses.

Interview by SocialScienceLab in Digital October Center, Moscow


academic work




Dr. Jesús López Baeza holds a PhD in Architecture. He works as Science Lead in Digital City Science - HafenCity Universität Hamburg, and Project Architect in SPIN Unit Lab Helsinki. He has led and participated in several national and international projects in Europe and Asia. Part of his work encompasses social cohesion, activities and livability of urban spaces, and citizen preferences in urban public spaces, urban identity production, spatial perception, agent-based modeling, among other dynamics in the field of advanced socio-spatial analysis.


  • Black Instagram Icon
  • Black Flickr Icon
  • Black LinkedIn Icon
  • Black Pinterest Icon
  • Black Facebook Icon