Getting Back on Track: Understanding COVID-19 Impact on Urban Mobility and Segregation with Location Service Data
Keywords:Social media usage on mobile devices; location, human mobility, and behavior, Measuring predictability of real world phenomena based on social media, e.g., spanning politics, finance, and health, Web and Social Media
AbstractUnderstanding the impact of COVID-19 on urban life rhythms is crucial for accelerating the return-to-normal progress and envisioning more resilient and inclusive cities. While previous studies either depended on small-scale surveys or focused on the response to initial lockdowns, this paper uses large-scale location service data to systematically analyze the urban mobility behavior changes across three distinct phases of the pandemic, i.e., pre-pandemic, lockdown, and reopen. Our analyses reveal two typical patterns that govern the mobility behavior changes in most urban venues: daily life-centered urban venues go through smaller mobility drops during the lockdown and more rapid recovery after reopening, while work-centered urban venues suffer from more significant mobility drops that are likely to persist even after reopening. Such mobility behavior changes exert deeper impacts on the underlying social fabric, where the level of mobility reduction is positively correlated with the experienced segregation at that urban venue. Therefore, urban venues undergoing more mobility reduction are also more filled with people from homogeneous socio-demographic backgrounds. Moreover, mobility behavior changes display significant heterogeneity across geographical regions, which can be largely explained by the partisan inclination at the state level. Our study shows the vast potential of location service data in deriving a timely and comprehensive understanding of the social dynamic in urban space, which is valuable for informing the gradual transition back to the normal lifestyle in a “post-pandemic era”.
How to Cite
Chen, L., Xu, F., Hao, Q., Hui, P., & Li, Y. (2023). Getting Back on Track: Understanding COVID-19 Impact on Urban Mobility and Segregation with Location Service Data. Proceedings of the International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media, 17(1), 126-136. https://doi.org/10.1609/icwsm.v17i1.22132