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      Tracking job and housing dynamics with smartcard data


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          This paper uses transit smartcards from travelers in Beijing retained over a 7-y period to track boarding and alighting stations, which are associated with home and work location. This allows us to track who moves and who remains at their homes and workplaces. Therefore, this paper provides a longitudinal study of job and housing dynamics with group conceptualization and characterization. This paper identifies four mobility groups and then infers their socioeconomic profiles. How these groups trade off housing expenditure and travel time budget is examined.


          Residential locations, the jobs–housing relationship, and commuting patterns are key elements to understand urban spatial structure and how city dwellers live. Their successive interaction is important for various fields including urban planning, transport, intraurban migration studies, and social science. However, understanding of the long-term trajectories of workplace and home location, and the resulting commuting patterns, is still limited due to lack of year-to-year data tracking individual behavior. With a 7-y transit smartcard dataset, this paper traces individual trajectories of residences and workplaces. Based on in-metro travel times before and after job and/or home moves, we find that 45 min is an inflection point where the behavioral preference changes. Commuters whose travel time exceeds the point prefer to shorten commutes via moves, while others with shorter commutes tend to increase travel time for better jobs and/or residences. Moreover, we capture four mobility groups: home mover, job hopper, job-and-residence switcher, and stayer. This paper studies how these groups trade off travel time and housing expenditure with their job and housing patterns. Stayers with high job and housing stability tend to be home (apartment unit) owners subject to middle- to high-income groups. Home movers work at places similar to stayers, while they may upgrade from tenancy to ownership. Switchers increase commute time as well as housing expenditure via job and home moves, as they pay for better residences and work farther from home. Job hoppers mainly reside in the suburbs, suffer from long commutes, change jobs frequently, and are likely to be low-income migrants.

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          Most cited references36

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          Understanding individual human mobility patterns

          Despite their importance for urban planning, traffic forecasting, and the spread of biological and mobile viruses, our understanding of the basic laws governing human motion remains limited thanks to the lack of tools to monitor the time resolved location of individuals. Here we study the trajectory of 100,000 anonymized mobile phone users whose position is tracked for a six month period. We find that in contrast with the random trajectories predicted by the prevailing Levy flight and random walk models, human trajectories show a high degree of temporal and spatial regularity, each individual being characterized by a time independent characteristic length scale and a significant probability to return to a few highly frequented locations. After correcting for differences in travel distances and the inherent anisotropy of each trajectory, the individual travel patterns collapse into a single spatial probability distribution, indicating that despite the diversity of their travel history, humans follow simple reproducible patterns. This inherent similarity in travel patterns could impact all phenomena driven by human mobility, from epidemic prevention to emergency response, urban planning and agent based modeling.
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            Big data, smart cities and city planning

            I define big data with respect to its size but pay particular attention to the fact that the data I am referring to is urban data, that is, data for cities that are invariably tagged to space and time. I argue that this sort of data are largely being streamed from sensors, and this represents a sea change in the kinds of data that we have about what happens where and when in cities. I describe how the growth of big data is shifting the emphasis from longer term strategic planning to short-term thinking about how cities function and can be managed, although with the possibility that over much longer periods of time, this kind of big data will become a source for information about every time horizon. By way of conclusion, I illustrate the need for new theory and analysis with respect to 6 months of smart travel card data of individual trips on Greater London’s public transport systems.
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              Predicting poverty and wealth from mobile phone metadata.

              Accurate and timely estimates of population characteristics are a critical input to social and economic research and policy. In industrialized economies, novel sources of data are enabling new approaches to demographic profiling, but in developing countries, fewer sources of big data exist. We show that an individual's past history of mobile phone use can be used to infer his or her socioeconomic status. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the predicted attributes of millions of individuals can, in turn, accurately reconstruct the distribution of wealth of an entire nation or to infer the asset distribution of microregions composed of just a few households. In resource-constrained environments where censuses and household surveys are rare, this approach creates an option for gathering localized and timely information at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods.

                Author and article information

                Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
                Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A
                Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
                National Academy of Sciences
                11 December 2018
                19 November 2018
                19 November 2018
                : 115
                : 50
                : 12710-12715
                [1] aKey Laboratory of Regional Sustainable Development Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China;
                [2] bSchool of Civil Engineering, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia;
                [3] cCollege of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
                [4] dDepartment of Urban Planning and Design, Faculty of Architecture, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong 999077, China;
                [5] eSchool of Civil Engineering, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing 100044, China
                Author notes
                1To whom correspondence should be addressed. Email: wangje@ 123456igsnrr.ac.cn .

                Edited by William A. V. Clark, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, and approved October 19, 2018 (received for review September 18, 2018)

                Author contributions: J.H., D.L., and J.W. designed research; J.H., D.L., and J.W. performed research; J.H., D.L., and J.Z. contributed new reagents/analytic tools; J.H. and Z.-j.W. analyzed data; and J.H., D.L., and J.W. wrote the paper.

                Author information
                Copyright © 2018 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.

                This open access article is distributed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License 4.0 (CC BY-NC-ND).

                Page count
                Pages: 6
                Social Sciences
                Social Sciences

                commuting pattern,job dynamics,housing dynamics,mobility group,smartcard data


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