Sarah Williams: Applying a data-driven approach to help cities function

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“We hear big data is going to change the world, but I don’t believe it will unless we synthesize it into tools with a public benefit,” she says.

Lacking a strong public transit system, residents of Nairobi, Kenya, often get around the city using “matatus” — group taxis following familiar routes. This informal method of transportation is essential to people’s lives: About 3.5 million people in Nairobi regularly use matatus.


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