Mobility and weather

In this project, professor David Dreyer Lassen and Ph.D. student Andreas Bjerre-Nielsen from the Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen, and Associate Professor Sune Lehmann and research assistant Kelton Minor from DTU Compute investigates for Kraks Fond – Institute for Urban Economic Research how the weather affects the choice of transportation in Copenhagen.


Bad weather is becoming a growing challenge, and with increased cognition a need for understanding the choice of daily transportation becomes intrusive. The main purpose of the project is to understand how human mobility and choice of transportation mode are affected by weather, inter alia, in order to act as a pilot study for the smart-grid public transportation, that is, a transportation system that adapts to the demands in real time. The secondary aim of the project is to integrate big data (high-frequency, detailed digital data) with the discipline of urban economics, and to develop classification methods to identify modes of transportation based solely on digital data from e.g. smartphones.

The project seeks to identify and estimate how weather affects transportation patterns, where measurement of transportation patterns is retrieved from smartphone data. The project can serve as a pilot study for a larger study with a wider population in the Greater Copenhagen area in order to provide data for smart grids, which adjusts the supply of public transport to demands in real time. At the same time, the project opens up for the opportunity to develop new methods to understand mobility and behavior more generally, solely by means of digital tracks from smartphones. The passive data collection from smartphones contributes to more detailed data from much wider and larger populations than a researcher normally has access to.