The Vision Zero Innovation Lab aims to help university students learn practical data skills whilst exploring ways to reduce the number of road deaths to zero.
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#Vision Zero Innovation Lab

####Background Taking place at the Leeds Institute for Data Analytics on April 27th as part of the Leeds Digital Festival, the aim of the Vision Zero Innovation Lab is to explore ways to reduce the number of road casualties to zero in Leeds. If you would like to get involved or find out more, check out the event on eventbrite.

Student Data Labs runs data-driven Innovation Labs for university students to learn practical data skills whilst working on civic problems. In the past, we have held Labs that tackle Type 2 Diabetes and health inequalities in Leeds. Student Data Labs works with an interdisciplinary team of students, data scientists, designers, researchers and software developers. We also aim to connect our Data Lab Volunteers with local employers who may be interested in employing them upon graduation. Visit our website, Twitter or Facebook for more info.

The Vision Zero Innovation Lab is split into two sections - a Learning Lab and a Innovation Lab. The Learning Lab helps students learn real-world data skills - getting them up and running with tools like R as well as common data science problems as part of a team. The Innovation Lab is more experimental, where the aim is to develop ideas and data-driven tools to take on wicked problems.

####Vision Zero Vision Zero is an international road safety project that was first pioneered in Sweden in 1997. The aim of the initiative is to reduce the number of road deaths and permanent injuries to zero. Acknowledging the accidents are unavoidable, it takes a systems design approach to road safety. This includes tackling the public health issue through more effective engineering (designing safer cars and cities), education (encouraging road users to be more aware of pedestrians, for example) as well as enforement (speed controls).

####The Problem The Vision Zero Innovation Lab plans to bring these principles to Leeds, with a distinct emphasis on the role data science is playing in transport. We will have demonstrations from the Leeds Institute for Transport Studies to give you an idea of what's being done in the city.

After conducting an analysis of road casualties in Leeds, there are a few takeaways to bear in mind - one is that the city is poorly designed for pedestrians and cyclists. Between 2009 and 2014 pedestrians comprised 33% of road deaths in Leeds, a figure that stands 10% higher than the national average. In addition, the number of cycling crashes in the city is rising. One focus of the Lab, therefore, is how can we make the city safer for pedestrians and cyclists?

To find out more about the context of road casualties in Leeds, visit a data project that was created last summer by a Data Lab Volunteer. As part of the Vision Zero Lab several maps were also created: one static heatmap (see below), a storymap showing the location of those three key hotspots, another visualising road deaths in Yorkshire, a Cycling Casualty Map, and an interactive map showing the location of pedestrian crashes.

##Data The Labs make use of open data - that is, data that has been made open and freely available to the public. We are using open data from the pioneering Leeds Data Mill, some of which was created by Student Data Labs. In addition, a series of open datasets on cycling crashes and pedestrian casualties were created and published by Founder Liam Bolton. Another useful source is the Department for Transport's Stats19 road safety open data.

##Resources Under Resources, you will find learning materials that will help with those looking to learn more about data science, open data, data visualisation and mapping. You can find: practical tutorials, code and presentations that show the data science workflow. As part of the Lab, three tutorials have been produced:

  1. Exploring and Cleaning Road Casualty Data in R.
  2. Mapping Cycling Crashes in R.
  3. Statistical Analysis and Modelling Road Traffic Casualties.

More advanced tutorials for handling spatial data in R include:

  1. Robin's presentation on spatial data with R
  2. Reproducible code and data for estimating geographical distribution of cycle crashes in West Yorkshire (Lovelace et al. 2015)

You can also check out the resources from our Health Innovation Lab, which contains more tools, projects and videos.

##Projects The Vision Zero Innovation Lab is a place for volunteers to develop data-driven projects and exchange ideas. Data Lab Volunteers can use the Lab to build tools such as apps, maps or more conceptual ideas and designs. Once the Lab has finished, the projects will be presented to a number of stakeholders including Leeds City Council. Student Data Labs also works with volunteers on developing longer-term civic projects.

####Contact To get in touch, you can email us or visit our website.