Human Mobility and Urban Resilience in America’s Cities

Lecture | March 13 | 4-5 p.m. | 290 Hearst Memorial Mining Building

 Ryan Qi Wang, Northeastern University

 Institute of Transportation Studies

Northeastern University's Ryan Qi Wang will present Human Mobility and Urban Resilience in America’s Cities at 4 p.m. Friday, March 13 at the ITS Transportation Seminar in 290 Hearst Memorial Mining Building.

Abstract: Mobility, one of the basic human behaviors, is significantly influenced by environmental shocks and
social stresses. In this talk, Wang will present the collaborative work on two interrelated areas:
human movement perturbation under the influence of natural disasters, and mobility equality in
big cities. In the first area, we explore the uniformity and heterogeneity of human movements
under the impact of major natural disasters such as Hurricane Harvey. The exploration will
pave a path to real-time track and response to evacuations and recoveries. In the second
area, we develop a test of neighborhood isolation that leverages fine-grained dynamic data
from Twitter on the everyday movement of residents in America’s 50 largest cities. We find
surprisingly high consistency across neighborhoods of different race and income characteristics
in the metropolitan region; however, we uncover residents of primarily black and Hispanic
neighborhoods are far less exposed to either nonpoor or white middle-class neighborhoods than
residents of primarily white neighborhoods. The studies demonstrate that human mobility is a key
force for, as well as an important consequence of, urban resilience.

About the Speaker: Ryan Qi Wang is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and
Environmental Engineering, Northeastern University and the Associate Director of Research
on Social Media at the Boston Area Research Initiative (BARI). He is interested in the interplay
between data science and computational social science. His research focuses on two interrelated
areas: human movement perturbation under the influence of natural and manmade disasters, and
mobility equality in big cities. Before joining in Northeastern, Ryan was a postdoc fellow at the
Department of Sociology, Harvard University. He received my Ph.D. degree from the Department
of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech. During his time at Virginia Tech, he was
also the first Ph.D. Fellow at BioBuild, an interdisciplinary program, and a Via Teaching Fellow.
He obtained his M.S. in Construction Management from Michigan State University and B.S. in
Chemical Engineering from Tianjin University (China).

 syka@berkeley.edu