Geography of Cultural Ties and Human Mobility in China by Dr Wenjie Wu, Heriot-Watt University, 23 March 2016

Date: Wednesday 23 March 2016
Time: 4.00-5.30pm
Venue: Lecture Theatre E, Boyd Orr Building

23rd March

Dr Wenjie Wu

(Heriot-Watt University, Associate Professor in School of the Built Environment)

Title: Geography of Cultural Ties and Human Mobility in China

 A ubiquitous and largely unexplored big data application in urban contexts is how cultural ties affect human mobility patterns. This paper explores China?s inter-city human mobility patterns from social media (weibo) data to contribute to our understanding of this question. Exposure to human mobility patterns is modelled by big data computational strategy for identifying hundreds of millions of individuals? space-time footprint trajectories. Linguistic data are coded as a proxy for cultural ties from a unique geographically-coded atlas of Chinese dialect distributions. We find that cultural ties are associated with human mobility flows between city pairs, contingent upon commuting costs and geographical distances. However, such effects are not distributed evenly over time and space. These findings present useful insights in support of the cultural mechanism that can account for the rise, decline and dynamics of human mobility between regions.

The Scottish Centre for China Research Seminar Programme gratefully acknowledges the support from the Macfie Bequest. For enquiries and information, please contact: Dr Julie Miao:

First published: 1 December 2015

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