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Measuring policy debate in a regrowing city by sentiment analysis using online media data: A case study of Leipzig 2030

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In a time of data science, online crowdsourced data and advanced data analytics would be a waste of resources and knowledge if these tools wouldn’t assist urban planning. This paper uses sentiment analysis to understand policy debates’ present in online media in a re-urbanized city and discusses how these tools and new datasets can help planners and inform new waves of policy by including groups that tend to be underrepresented in traditional consultation meetings. Modern reurbanisation is an emergent phenomenon occurs in cities that experienced urban shrinkage in the past decades. Urban policies proposed to the ‘new’ regrowing cities should meet challenges of old shrinking consequences and new regrowing demands. Nowadays, policymakers need to hear the voice from different age groups, some use new, non-traditional media in policy debates. Online media data has the potential to provide quasi-live feedbacks, to supply the traditional opinion surveys. We applied sentiment analysis in the selected case - the Integrated Urban Development Concept (INSEK) Leipzig 2030 – to evaluate public opinion. While results show that public attention was low, the policy seems to be welcome, with the public showing more interests in regrowth topics than shrinkage issues.



online data, social media, public opinion, sentiment analysis, urban regrowth

Journal Title

Regional Science Policy and Practice

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Elsevier BV


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