Incorporating social network data in mobility studies: Benefits and takeaways from an applied survey methodology

John P. Pritchard*, Filipe Moura, João de Abreu e Silva

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    The importance of social networks in counteracting mobility limitations is often overlooked despite allowing individuals to remain included under otherwise adverse conditions. Living in poor accessibility areas and having low mobility is associated with a higher risk for social exclusion; that is, the ability to participate fully in society. In order to explore how social network support can compensate for reduced accessibility and mobility, thus reducing the propensity for exclusion, a survey methodology to collect social network, mobility and accessibility data was defined. The paper presents an overview of the methodology. It includes several subjective scales, a trip diary and several SNA tools to measure the density, interconnectivity and supportive nature of individualś personal networks. Some of the key difficulties encountered and lessons learned are presented along with descriptive statistics of the sample and an illustration of the data collected. This paper attempts to assert the importance of considering, studying and measuring the social aspects of accessibility and mobility, when planning for urban transport systems and presents one possible survey methodology that incorporates the different dimensions of social exclusion in a single survey.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)279-293
    Number of pages15
    JournalCase Studies on Transport Policy
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016


    • Lisbon
    • Methodology
    • Mobility survey
    • Social exclusion
    • Social network analysis
    • Well-being


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