Neighbourhood in an Increasingly Mobile Society

Project: Research

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This project intends to examine the impacts of the neighbourhood in an increasinglymobile world. The neighbourhood is an important arena, not only to peoples’ creation ofidentity and social networks, but also to many government policies that aim at solvingsocial problems. Yet as people are increasingly mobile and the need to interact withneighbours decreases, it begs the question of whether the neighbourhood is stillsignificant to individuals. There is, however, ample evidence that patterns of mobility arehighly varied among people of different backgrounds and mobility differentials may bewidening. Thus, it is possible that the neighbourhood may continue to be significant butits impacts may not be the same for different groups of people. This project will employa smart phone app which has been newly developed by the research team to trackpeople’s mobility and activity patterns. Such data will be combined with information onpersonal attributes that are collected from a survey and with neighbourhood attributesderived from a variety of sources in order to examine the impacts of mobility on people’ssense of neighbourhood and neighbouring interaction. This research will cover 1250residents in 25 neighbourhoods in Hong Kong. Hong Kong, with its popular and efficientpublic transport system as well as a large but relatively mixed public housing sectoroffers a distinct research site for comparison with the findings of similar research whichhas been conducted in the very different urban contexts of US cities. The research willoffer valuable inputs to social mix and neighbourhood-based social policy as well asinform and extend theoretical debate on neighbourhoods within the new mobilitiesperspective.


Project number9042280
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/11/1526/02/20