Ponce-López, Roberto

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"The main challenge of my profession is to find the appropriate scale to study urban phenomena and obtain specialized databases." The public policy of cities, the interaction between transport, land use, and poverty, in particular, is one of Roberto Ponce López areas of interest. Another one is urban information systems, that is, the use of artificial intelligence databases to design future scenarios in cities. From his profession, he likes the interdisciplinarity offered by his area of research and by institutions such as Tecnológico de Monterrey. The problems in cities are complex and require the participation of experts from different fields. At Tecnológico de Monterrey, he collaborates with sociologists, architects, and engineers from other schools. During Felipe Calderón's election campaign, Ponce López was in charge of the spatial analysis area. Afterward, he worked for three years in the Office of Public Opinion, in charge of geostatistics and digital mapping. He claims that the new technologies and databases, such as the ones in cell phones and GPS trackers, are hard to obtain. However, for the first time in history, they allow exploring the interaction between the physical environment of the cities and social variables such as poverty or consumption with great temporary and spatial detail. From his point of view, one of the challenges in his profession is the fact that very little is understood about human behavior in cities, and, therefore, there are still many questions to make.

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