The Neighbourhood in an Increasingly Mobile World

Friday, 20 July 2018: 08:45
Oral Presentation
Ngai Ming YIP, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Ray FORREST, Lingnam University, Hong Kong
This paper intends to examine the impacts of the neighbourhood in an increasingly mobile world. The neighbourhood is an important arena, not only to peoples’ creation of identity and social networks, but also to many government policies that aim at solving social problems. Yet as people are increasingly mobile and the need to interact with neighbours decreases, it begs the question of whether the neighbourhood is still significant to individuals. There is, however, ample evidence that patterns of mobility are highly varied among people of different backgrounds and mobility differentials may be widening. Thus, it is possible that the neighbourhood may continue to be significant but its impacts may not be the same for different groups of people. This paper is based on project that employs a smart phone app which has been developed by the research team to track people’s mobility and activity patterns. Such data will be combined with information on personal attributes that are collected from a survey and with neighbourhood attributes derived from a variety of sources in order to examine the impacts of mobility on people’s sense of neighbourhood and neighbouring interaction. This research will cover 800 residents in 20 neighbourhoods in Hong Kong. Hong Kong, with its popular and efficient public transport system as well as a large but relatively mixed public housing sector offers a distinct research site for comparison with the findings of similar research which has been conducted in the very different urban contexts of US cities. The research will offer valuable inputs to social mix and neighbourhood-based social policy as well as inform and extend theoretical debate on neighbourhoods within the new mobilities perspective.