Online course launched on data processing in urban metabolism

Metabolism of Cities is launching a new online Data Processing course in Spanish starting the 9th of November. It is part of a new online course series that Metabolism of Cities is organizing on "Data & Urban Metabolism". The series consists of three individual courses:



  1. Data Collection

  2. Data Processing

  3. Data Analysis


The first installment, the Data Collection course started on the 9th of August and ended the 17th of September, it is available in the Metabolism of Cities Education Hub. There were two Data Collection courses offered, one in Spanish and one in English. The Spanish course was an intensive, 5 week course that involved two online teaching sessions per week, followed by a heavy homework load that consisted of putting in practice what was covered in class. The actual lessons are all available online as recorded videos within the new online course structure. The live sessions for the course served as a recap for the material seen that week, to review the homework exercises, and to discuss difficulties and questions with the students.


The English course was different since it was launched with a select group of invited participants who also had sessions twice a week to discuss their progress with data collection. The Spanish course was open to a wider audience and interested parties were invited to apply online.


The efforts of all participants can be seen in the Metabolism of Cities Data Hub where there are over 50 cities each with data collected throughout the two courses. Each city is broken down into four layers to provide a full picture: context, biophysical characteristics, infrastructure and stocks and flows. Some of the most compelling cities with intricate data collected are Medellín, Buenos Aires, Johannesburg and Kigali to name a few. The data collection process was also useful in allowing the participants to determine how easy or difficult it can be to collect meticulous data depending on the city and how forthcoming government organizations or research institutions are with data.


The second installment of the course, Data Processing, is aimed for participants who are interested in an investigation related to urban metabolism. The aim is for students, especially the ones who have already taken the previous course on Data Collection to learn how to take documents from Excel, PDF, shapefiles, CSV etc. and convert them into a standardized format that will then be uploaded to the Metabolism of Cities database. The participants will already have the data they collected from cities and will be able to use it to create graphs, interactive maps and data visualization in the way they choose. Through this course the participants will keep contributing to centralized and open data focused on urban metabolism and taking into account the importance of urban sustainability.


Registration for this course in Spanish can be done here The course will start on the 9th of November and end on the 10th of December, with classes taking place on Mondays and Thursdays.


The courses are offered free of charge and all course material is made available under a Creative Commons (CC 4.0. BY) license, much like most of the other content produced at Metabolism of Cities. Interested participants who are unable to join this cohort can also take the course online at their own pace. Instruction material will be made available weekly, as the course progresses.