Streetonomics

People’s decisions are mediated by cultural values, and some of these decisions are easier to quantify than others, making it possible to quantify specific cultural aspects. One class of these decisions is visible in ordinary settings: in street names.

We studied 4,932 streets in the cities of Paris, Vienna, London and New York, and found that their names greatly reflect a variety of cultural dimensions, from gender bias to global openness.

Based on these findings, we built ‘cultural street maps’ that aim at promoting historical awareness and at making municipalities and individuals reflect on their past to inform their future, and all of this in a playful way.