Understanding the spatiotemporal patterns of nighttime urban vibrancy in central Shanghai inferred from mobile phone data

Yangfan Zhang, Weijing Zhong, De Wang, Feng Tyan Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years, major cities around the world such as New York in UAS, Melbourne in Australia, and Shanghai in China, have planned to boost their nighttime urban vibrancy levels to spur the economy and achieve cultural diversity. The study of nighttime urban vibrancy from the perspective of spatiotemporal characteristics is increasingly being recognized as part of the essential work in the field of urban planning and geography. This research used mobile phone signaling records to measure urban vibrancy in central Shanghai and revealed its spatiotemporal patterns during nighttime. Specifically, this research explored the changes of urban vibrancy within a day, studied the distribution of urban vibrancy during the nighttime, and visually presented the spatiotemporal changes of nighttime urban vibrancy in central Shanghai. Moreover, on the basis of the behavior pattern of each mobile user, we classified nighttime urban vibrancy into three different types: nighttime working vibrancy, nighttime leisure vibrancy, and nighttime floating vibrancy. We then tried to determine how land use affected nighttime leisure vibrancy. The results showed that urban vibrancy in central Shanghai exhibits a periodic pattern over one-day period. A high-level nighttime urban vibrancy belt is present within central Shanghai. Business offices, hotels, entertainment and recreational districts, wholesale markets, and express services contribute most to the vibrancy at nighttime. In addition, the correlation analysis shows that public and commercial facilities generate high levels of nighttime leisure vibrancy than residential facilities. The mixed land use of public and commercial facilities and residential facilities within 500 ​m is more critical than the mixed use of a single land lot. The research can be a basis for supporting land use planning and providing evidence for policy-making to improve the level of nighttime urban vibrancy in cities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-307
Number of pages11
JournalRegional Sustainability
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Oct

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Development
  • Urban Studies


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