Les Liaisons Miracles A Look at Miracle Mile’s Future Through the Interests of Its Audience
As human mobility rises, cities tend to compete for people. To become more attractive, urban areas need to understand their community and adopt a user-centered mindset.
This challenge arises especially for the developers of retail zones. They need to create new value for their visitors. Access to proper information is a problem though. Despite numerous marketing analyses, retail areas keep lacking information about their users’ consumer profile – who they are, what could attract them to the area and where else they like to go.
This study focuses on the Miracle Mile shopping district in Coral Gables, Florida, a retail community, its current rivals and emerging disruptors. We explore people’s interests and attitudes by analysing their social media activity.
Coral Gables has long been a thriving place rich in history. Developed in 1920s, this area was one of the first planned communities in the United States with strict zoning regulations. Famous for its architectural heritage, Coral Gables was built in the Mediterranean style with inspiration from the City Beautiful Movement. The city is pedestrian friendly as its founder George Merrick wanted every business to be less than a two-block walk.Zoom in to see the map in more detail.
Coral Gables’ population is a great ethnic and cultural mix with a Hispanic flavor – about 60% of its citizens are Latinos. The city is home to several universities, which attract young students from across the country.Over the past few years, Coral Gables has faced a real estate boom. Now the area is surrounded by upper-class neighborhoods inhabited by affluent, well-educated people.
Miracle Mile mostly consists of classy restaurants, financial and art institutions. It positions itself as a trendy and luxurious place. However Miracle Mile faces strong competition from other retail and entertainment destinations nearby. This business district also can’t reach a wider audience and needs a miracle to restore itself to its former glory.This map only shows the most popular location types.
With a mountain of data generated, social media is a free and powerful source of information. Twitter is one of the most popular social platforms in the United States. Twitter users are not equally distributed among the population, but represent a younger and more desirable audience. Most of this audience are between 18 and 34 years old.Twitter data contains texts, images and sometimes locations which makes it an attractive source for studying a wide range of human phenomena. This work is based on 7 million geo-tagged tweets shared in the Greater Miami area over 12 months (March 2014 – February 2015).
As people share their thoughts, we can analyse the most popular topic of a given location. This interactive map shows people’s perception of Miracle Mile. Each color represents the most discussed issue within a proximity of a road intersection. The hatching lines indicate several themes that are equally popular. Food is the prevailing topic and completely dominates Ponce De Leon Boulevard and a dozen other locations. The area also stores routine discussions like work or the internet. Miracle Mile is not just a shopping destination. It is the place to be.