College of Liberal Arts

Dr. Mei-Po Kwan: "Human Mobility, Individual Context, and Environmental Exposure: A Spatiotemporal Perspective"

Friday May 5, 2017 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM | CLA 0.128

Dr. Mei-Po Kwan, Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbaba-Champaign

Studies on a wide range of urban issues by geographers have been conducted largely with a static perspective based on people’s residential location. However, since people move around in their daily lives to undertake various activities, their social encounters and exposures to environmental influences also take place in neighborhoods beyond their residence and at various times. Human mobility is thus an essential element of people’s spatiotemporal experiences, and these complex experiences cannot be fully understood by just looking at where people live. Ignoring people’s daily mobility, the time they spend outside of their residential neighborhoods and their exposures to environmental influences and other social groups there omits a considerable part of their everyday experiences. In this presentation, I draw upon recent conceptual and methodological developments to examine how a perspective that integrates the spatial and temporal dimensions and takes human mobility into account can help identify the relevant spatiotemporal context that influences people’s health behaviors or outcomes. Using examples from my recent projects, I discuss how the collection and analysis of high-resolution space-time data enabled by advanced geospatial and mobile technologies can provide new insights on the relationships between people’s health behaviors and the complex spatiotemporal dynamics of environmental influences.

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