Healthy Aging Speaker Series | Fall 2021 | A GPS Survey in an Aging Community in Shanghai, November 16

Healthy Aging Speaker Series | Fall 2021

A GPS Survey in an Aging Community in Shanghai

Using data to reveal the characteristics of the older people’s daily mobility and the impact of the built environment

Speaker: Yifan Yu, Professor of Urban Planning, Director of Age-friendly Community Lab, Tongji University

When: 7:30 PM EST, November 16th, Tuesday, Where: ZOOM

Link to recorded presentation.

Moderator: Ann Forsyth, Ruth and Frank Stanton Professor of Urban Planning, Harvard University

Hosted by, Healthy Places Design Lab, at the Harvard Graduate School of Design


The spatial behavior of older adults is essentially the result of interactions between the people and the environment. Different from the traditional demographic-based measurement, this research attempts to reveal the temporal-spatial behavior characteristics of the older people with an individual-based trajectory analysis. Seventy-six older residents from a typical public housing neighborhood in Shanghai were asked to carry an Android Phone and wear Fitbit health bands. By collecting and analyzing the trajectory data through 102 consecutive days, we explored their mobility pattern and activity sequence, discovered the spatial anchor points that have an important impact, and looked into the possibility of using spatial intervention to promote healthy behaviors inside and outside the neighborhood.


Dr. YU Yifan is a professor of urban planning and the director of Age-friendly Community Lab at Tongji University. She obtained her PhD from Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, in Paris, France in 2003, visited GSD at Harvard University as a senior research fellow during 2013 and 2014. She serves as an overseas research fellow at Paris Sorbonne University, as well as a member of the Planning Standardization committee of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, also serving as vice president of the Shanghai Urban Planning Association.