Eszter Bokányi will present work on “Patterns of social connections in urban space” at NetSci2020

Commuting across cities creates opportunities to meet and establish relationships to a wide variety of people. Contrary, living and work around the same location limits the possibilities to develop social ties towards diverse communities. In this paper we test the influence of urban mobility on the structure and assortativity of social connections.

We follow the mobility of individuals through their geolocated Twitter messages in the top 50 metropolitan areas of the US. After identifying the home and work location of users and constructing their online social network, we include socio-economic information from census data to their main locations. Our findings show that commuting to distant locations increases the number of connections people can develop and acts against closed, highly clustered social ties. However, commuting to work at a distant location does not change the pattern that people most likely develop connections towards others from similar socio-economic background.