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The Belfast Mobility Project

The Belfast Mobility Project is a multi-disciplinary group dedicated to understanding the nuanced spatio-temporal patterns of segregation and sharing in North Belfast. Learn more at the BMP website.


The BMP used a unique, mixed methods approach to describing and explaining patterns of activity space segregation in the historically divided city of Belfast, including:

  1. GPS tracking allied with GIS methods of data capture, analysis and representation
  2. Walking interviews
  3. A large scale questionnaire survey
  4. Participatory GIS, using the Map-Me platform

Most research on urban segregation has focused on global patterns of residential division captured at a single moment in time, often using government census data about where people live in cities. The Belfast Mobility Project examined how segregation may arise through the patterning of everyday movements and use of activity spaces beyond the home and over time.

A map illustrating the dataset of over 20 million GPS locations is given below:

As might be expected, this map shows a great deal of activity segregation between the residential areas that are occupied by Catholic and Protestant communities, though wholesale mixing can be seen on main roads and in consumption-driven non-place locations. You can learn more about the project, dataset and results at the BMP website, and the first findings of the BMP are published in:

Huck, J.J., Whyatt, J.D. Sturgeon, B., Hocking, B., Davies, G., Dixon, J., Jarman, N. and Bryan, D. (2018). Exploring Segregation and Sharing in a Divided City: a PGIS approach. Annals of the Association of American Geographers. (Forthcoming)

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© 2018 Jonny Huck