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Frontiers in Urban Informatics and Spatial Social Network Analysis

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Urban and Rural Development".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 November 2022) | Viewed by 1938

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
Community Health Justice Lab & Department of Urban-Global Public Health, Rutgers University School of Public Health, Newark, NJ 07102, USA
Interests: community engagement; cancer; smoking cessation; digital health; telehealth; health of marginalized communities (criminal justice populations, people living with HIV, LGBTQ, Black and Latino men); COVID-19
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Texas Federal Statistical Research Data Center, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77840, USA
Interests: crime mapping; cybercrime; quantitative social science; urban analytics

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Guest Editor
Department of Clinical and Preventive Nutrition Sciences, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ 07107, USA
Interests: food insecurity; diet quality and health outcomes among college students and vulnerable groups (people living with HIV, LGBTQI)

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The global population is being increasingly concentrated in urban areas at an unprecedented scale and speed. Cities will be facing the daunting task of accommodating the urban dynamics with smarter management strategies. Uncovering the multi-dimensional interplay between computation and the social aspects of urban activities has both theoretical and practical implications for urban planning and public health. There are growing efforts aiming for the development of analytical methods to deal with high-dimensional, heterogeneous, and unstructured location-based social network data drawn from urban locales. Spatial social network analysis has been employed by researchers from various disciplines to reveal physical and social configurations, considering social processes in either geographical or network space. More methodological advances are needed to help researchers and policy makers track urbanization processes more closely, and also forecast the impacts of policies more accurately. Urban informatics research will advance a broad spectrum of real-world applications by enabling an extensive community of domain users to tackle the urban data challenge. This direction will also prepare the next generation of the workforce for smart city action.

This Special Issue emphasize the development of research frameworks, theories, methods, and good case studies of tackling key research challenges related to the advance of urban informatics and spatial social network analysis. Sample topics include:

  • Data sharing and dissemination in urban informatics research;
  • Digital divide and sampling issue in urban informatics research;
  • Multi-scale spatiotemporal analysis and modeling of social dynamics;
  • Privacy issues in spatial social network data and possible solutions;
  • Spatial agent-based models of human–environment interactions;
  • Spatiotemporal analysis of human activities in physical and virtual spaces;
  • Spatiotemporal data models for studying intra-urban social network;
  • Spatiotemporal social network analysis;
  • The importance of spatial data from marginalized communities;
  • Visualization of spatial social network;
  • Visualization of the food environment;
  • Using space–time models to help decide allocation of public health resources.

Dr. Xinyue Ye
Dr. Pamela Valera
Dr. Ling Wu
Dr. Joachim D. Sackey
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • complexity system
  • computational urban science
  • digital health
  • food environment
  • health of marginalized communities
  • human dynamics
  • network science
  • telehealth

Published Papers (1 paper)

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21 pages, 12276 KiB  
A Study on the Spatial Structure of the Bu-Ul-Gyeong Megacity Using the City Network Paradigm
by Yoonjee Baek and Heesun Joo
Sustainability 2022, 14(23), 15845; - 28 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1221
Developing bidirectional urban networks within areas in megacities is an essential spatial strategy across regions today. In 2018, Korea began its Bu-Ul-Gyeong (BUG) megacity project. Today, Korea is working to improve functional polycentric urban networks within the BUG megacity. To uncover insights useful [...] Read more.
Developing bidirectional urban networks within areas in megacities is an essential spatial strategy across regions today. In 2018, Korea began its Bu-Ul-Gyeong (BUG) megacity project. Today, Korea is working to improve functional polycentric urban networks within the BUG megacity. To uncover insights useful for this project, this study sought to examine urban network patterns (e.g., network asymmetries and imbalances in the sizes and directions of their weighted flows) and identify the primary and secondary centers of the BUG megacity using mobile flow data from 2019 to 2020. Specifically, a three-step social network analysis was conducted across different geographical scales; namely: (1) the BUG megacity, (2) South Gyeongsang Province (SGP), and (3) every community in SGP. Eigenvector centrality and flow betweenness centrality revealed two primary centers (Changwon and Jinju) and four secondary centers (Haman, Sacheon, Tongyeong, and Geochang). Unidirectional and hierarchical connections were evident between the primary and secondary centers. In response to these findings, this paper proposes some beneficial strategies for the region’s public transportation networks to prevent small- and medium-sized cities from being marginalized and to enhance horizontal urban connectivity in megacities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Frontiers in Urban Informatics and Spatial Social Network Analysis)
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