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Creators/Authors contains: "Phillips, Nolan E."

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  1. Abstract Major disasters such as extreme weather events can magnify and exacerbate pre-existing social disparities, with disadvantaged populations bearing disproportionate costs. Despite the implications for equity and emergency planning, we lack a quantitative understanding of how these social fault lines translate to different behaviours in large-scale emergency contexts. Here we investigate this problem in the context of Hurricane Harvey, using over 30 million anonymized GPS records from over 150,000 opted-in users in the Greater Houston Area to quantify patterns of disaster-inflicted relocation activities before, during, and after the shock. We show that evacuation distance is highly homogenous across individuals from different types of neighbourhoods classified by race and wealth, obeying a truncated power-law distribution. Yet here the similarities end: we find that both race and wealth strongly impact evacuation patterns, with disadvantaged minority populations less likely to evacuate than wealthier white residents. Finally, there are considerable discrepancies in terms of departure and return times by race and wealth, with strong social cohesion among evacuees from advantaged neighbourhoods in their destination choices. These empirical findings bring new insights into mobility and evacuations, providing policy recommendations for residents, decision-makers, and disaster managers alike.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  2. This article develops and assesses the concept of triple neighborhood disadvantage. We argue that a neighborhood’s well-being depends not only on its own socioeconomic conditions but also on the conditions of neighborhoods its residents visit and are visited by, connections that form through networks of everyday urban mobility. We construct measures of mobility-based disadvantage using geocoded patterns of movement estimated from hundreds of millions of tweets sent by nearly 400,000 Twitter users over 18 months. Analyzing nearly 32,000 neighborhoods and 9,700 homicides in 37 of the largest U.S. cities, we show that neighborhood triple disadvantage independently predicts homicides, adjusting for traditional neighborhood correlates of violence, spatial proximity to disadvantage, prior homicides, and city fixed effects. Not only is triple disadvantage a stronger predictor than traditional measures, it accounts for a sizable portion of the association between residential neighborhood disadvantage and homicides. In turn, potential mechanisms such as neighborhood drug activity, interpersonal friction, and gun crime prevalence account for much of the association between triple disadvantage and homicides. These findings implicate structural mobility patterns as an important source of triple (dis)advantage for neighborhoods and have implications for a broad range of phenomena beyond crime, including community capacity, gentrification, transmission in amore »pandemic, and racial inequality.« less
  3. The social integration of a city depends on the extent to which people from different neighborhoods have the opportunity to interact with one another, but most prior work has not developed formal ways of conceptualizing and measuring this kind of connectedness. In this article, we develop original, network-based measures of what we call “structural connectedness” based on the everyday travel of people across neighborhoods. Our principal index captures the extent to which residents in each neighborhood of a city travel to all other neighborhoods in equal proportion. Our secondary index captures the extent to which travels within a city are concentrated in a handful of receiving neighborhoods. We illustrate the value of our indices for the 50 largest American cities based on hundreds of millions of geotagged tweets over 18 months. We uncover important features of major American cities, including the extent to which their connectedness depends on a few neighborhood hubs, and the fact that in several cities, contact between some neighborhoods is all but nonexistent. We also show that cities with greater population densities, more cosmopolitanism, and less racial segregation have higher levels of structural connectedness. Our indices can be applied to data at any spatial scale, andmore »our measures pave the way for more powerful and precise analyses of structural connectedness and its effects across a broad array of social phenomena.« less
  4. Influential research on the negative effects of living in a disadvantaged neighborhood assumes that its residents are socially isolated from nonpoor or “mainstream” neighborhoods, but the extent and nature of such isolation remain in question. We develop a test of neighborhood isolation that improves on static measures derived from commonly used census reports by leveraging fine-grained dynamic data on the everyday movement of residents in America’s 50 largest cities. We analyze 650 million geocoded Twitter messages to estimate the home locations and travel patterns of almost 400,000 residents over 18 mo. We find surprisingly high consistency across neighborhoods of different race and income characteristics in the average travel distance (radius) and number of neighborhoods traveled to (spread) in the metropolitan region; however, we uncover notable differences in the composition of the neighborhoods visited. Residents of primarily black and Hispanic neighborhoods—whether poor or not—are far less exposed to either nonpoor or white middle-class neighborhoods than residents of primarily white neighborhoods. These large racial differences are notable given recent declines in segregation and the increasing diversity of American cities. We also find that white poor neighborhoods are substantially isolated from nonpoor white neighborhoods. The results suggest that even though residents of disadvantagedmore »neighborhoods travel far and wide, their relative isolation and segregation persist.« less