Abstract

The paper presents an alternative method for tracking the spatiotemporal dynamics of social interactions in public space in the context of the European Capital of Culture-based urban regeneration. The paper analyses publicly available geolocated data from two social media platforms, Instagram and Flickr, which are characterised by the posting of photos on the Internet. The quantity of social media posts in a given time period is used as a proxy indicator to identify and retrospectively analyse the attractiveness and spatiotemporal dynamics of public spaces. Using georeferenced interaction data from social media platforms, two case studies of regenerated public spaces from ECoC cities are presented: the DEPO2015 area in Pilsen (Czech Republic) and the DOKK1 urban waterfront in Aarhus (Denmark). The results show that the data from the Flickr platform, which allows access to the exact geolocation of the posted photos, can reveal attractive public spaces, as the popular landmarks were clearly identified on the generated heatmaps. The analysis of data from the Instagram social media platform, which uses georeferencing, can reveal the most important events and should be thus considered a valuable proxy for determining the overall level of social interaction in a public space. The methodology presented is particularly well suited for the analysis of central locations and special events, as is the case with the ECoC.

Key words: Flickr, Instagram, geolocated data, public space, spatiotemporal dynamic, European Capital of Culture, urban regeneration