Leveraging Data Science to Address Housing Affordability

Berkeley Distinguished Lectures in Data Science


May 1, 2018
4:10pm to 5:00pm
190 Doe Library
Get Directions


Housing affordability is a chronic problem in markets like the Bay Area, and low and moderate income households are at risk of displacement from many neighborhoods that are experiencing rapid appreciation in prices and rents. Many of these neighborhoods undergoing gentrification have high levels of transit access, and there is a risk that displaced households may be forced into low-transit access neighborhoods in order to lower their housing costs. In this talk we explore some of the data, and models, we have been developing to help explore these challenges and to better inform local and regional planning efforts to address them. We use extensive data on parcels, buildings, households, businesses, transportation networks, rents and prices, to build these models. We address some of the difficulties in working with such data and some of the approaches we have developed to build usable databases and models to inform policy and planning.

The Berkeley Distinguished Lectures in Data Science, co-hosted by the Berkeley Institute for Data Science (BIDS) and the Berkeley Division of Data Sciences, feature faculty doing visionary research that illustrates the character of the ongoing data, computational, inferential revolution. All campus community members are welcome and encouraged to attend.  Arrive at 3:30pm for tea, coffee and discussion prior to the formal presentation.


Paul Waddell

Professor and Chair, City and Regional Planning, UC Berkeley

Paul Waddell teaches and conducts research on modeling and planning in the domains of land use, housing, economic geography, transportation, and the environment. He has led the development of the UrbanSim model of urban development and the Open Platform for Urban Simulation, now used by Metropolitan Planning Organizations and other local and regional agencies for operational planning purposes in a variety of US metropolitan areas, such as Detroit, Houston, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and Seattle, as well as internationally in a growing list of cities in Europe, Asia, and Africa. His current research focuses on the assessment of the impacts of land use regulations and transportation investments on outcomes such as spatial patterns of real estate development and prices, travel behavior, emissions, and resource consumption. He is also working on ways to engage public participation in making complex policy choices.

Over the past five years, Professor Waddell has served as PI or Co-PI on numerous research grants from the National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Highway Administration, and state and local governments. He is also active in providing consulting for local governments in developing and applying analytic tools for decision support and began his professional career working as a regional planner with the North Central Texas Council of Governments.

Professor Waddell has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of the American Planning Association, Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Journal of Transport and Land Use, Transportation Letters, Applied Spatial Analysis and Planning, and International Journal of Microsimulation. His research is published broadly in journals in planning, geography, transportation, and urban economics.