Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


IASS Report Summary

Project ID: 657956
Funded under: H2020-EU.1.3.2.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - IASS (Immigrant Activity-Space Segregation: Spatio-Temporal Patterns of Assimilation and Separation in Barcelona)

Reporting period: 2016-01-01 to 2017-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The main focus on the project has been on better understanding immigration and activity-space segregation -- social segregation in space and time. Activity-space segregation is of great concern because it drives inequality by creating stark differences in people’s access to resources and exposure to hazards. This project has resulted in a set of protocols and tools that make it possible to quantify and better understand activity-space segregation at the scale of the city. These will be put into effect to collect data in Barcelona as soon as the social and political situation permits.

The project has also resulted in important advances in our ability to measure and understand one of the key hazards that drive poverty as a result of activity-space segregation: exposure to disease-vector mosquitoes. This problem of disease-vector mosquitoes has been growing during the past two decades but it took on new urgency at the end of 2015 with outbreaks of Zika triggering a global health emergency. This emergency led the researcher to advance work he had begun previously using citizen science to track the spread of disease-vector mosquitoes in Spain. As a result, he was able to show, in an article published in Nature Communications, that citizen science offers a reliable and scalable tool that is well-positioned to revolutionize the surveillance of dangerous mosquitoes worldwide. Moreover, he was able to obtain estimates of the tiger mosquito distribution across Spain at sufficiently small spatial and temporal scales to link the risk of mosquito-borne disease with human mobility and social inequality. This has helped spark the formation of a Global Mosquito Alert initiative, of which the researcher is a founding member, in collaboration with the UN Environmental Program, the World Health Organization, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and citizen science associations around the world.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

This project has achieved five broad outcomes: (1) It has enabled an experienced researcher (John Palmer) to make significant advances on research that links immigration, activity-space segregation, and inequality; (2) it has provided the researcher with critical training and career development support; (3) it has given valuable research and teaching outputs to the beneficiary institution (UPF); (4) it has offered rich new knowledge about the world to the wider academic community and society at large, disseminated through academic papers and policy papers, a briefing to Members of the European Parliament, public talks and videos, and broad media coverage; and (5) it has helped launch a global initiative organized in collaboration with intergovernmental and civil society organizations. With the end of the project, the researcher will remain at the beneficiary institution as a tenure-track professor, and he will continue to push forward his research, teaching, and outreach activities in that capacity.

Ethics guidelines and review committee report (Deliverable 1.1). This was completed and uploaded through the continuous reporting module of the project tracking system on the H2020 Participant’s Portal. The ethics approval process was useful, as it gave the researcher an opportunity to think through the project’s ethical implications and safeguards in more detail, and to receive helpful feedback from UPF’s independent ethics review board (CIREP) and data protection specialists.

Sampling protocol report (Deliverable 2.1). This is a written report explaining the sampling protocol. It was completed and made available to the public through the project website and Zenodo.

Data management plan report (Deliverable 3.1). This is a written report on the data management plan that serves as a guide for this research and that will also provide guidance for future projects. It was completed and uploaded through the continuous reporting module of the project tracking system on the H2020 Participant’s Portal.

Project website and blog (Deliverable 4.1). The project website is live at The blog is operational but will not be exploited until participant recruitment begins. Note that the website does not emphasis the immigration aspect of the project (it is called simply “activity-space project”) because of the goal is to attract a broad audience and a broad set of participants. The project requires that we learn about the activity spaces of natives and immigrants alike.

Mobile phone application (Deliverable 5.1). This application was completed and all code made available to the public on Github under the open source GPLv3 license. It will be placed on Google Play for participants to download and install on their phones as soon as sampling begins.2028

First and second articles sent for review (Deliverable 7.1 and 7.2). The researcher was able to go well beyond the two articles anticipated under this deliverable, ultimately publishing during the project period 6 journal articles, 2 book chapters, and 1 policy paper, with an additional book chapter and policy paper accepted and forthcoming in 2018.

Forthcoming Book Chapters
• Palmer, John R.B., Martin Brocklehurst, Elizabeth Tyson, Anne Bowser, Eleonore Pauwels, and Frederic Bartumeus. 2018. “Global Mosquito Alert.” In Citizen Science: Innovation in Open Science, Society and Policy, edited by Muki Haklay, Aletta Bonn, Susanne Hecker, Anne Bowser, Zen Makuch and Johannes Vogel. Forthcoming from UCL Press.

Forthcoming Policy Papers
• Tyson, Elizabeth, Anne Bowser, John Palmer, Durrell Kapan, Frederic Bartumeus, and Eleanore Pauwels. 2017. “Global Mosquito Alert: Building Citizen Science Capacity for Surveillance and Control of Disease-Vector Mosquitoes.” Forthcoming from Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, D.C.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The project has gone beyond the state of the art in activity-space research by making it possible to (1) estimate human mobility and activity-space segregation at the scale of cities, and (2) link this information to data on the risk of disease-vector mosquitoes. This has huge implications in terms of understanding inequality and improving public health well beyond Barcelona. Mosquito-borne disease plays a large role in exacerbating inequality and poverty worldwide. Up to 390 million people contract dengue each year; millions more contract chikungunya and Zika. People with less resources are much more severely affected by these diseases due to the loss of income and medical expenses incurred while they are sick; moreover, the poor are often more exposed to the mosquitoes that transmit these diseases and spatial patterns of inequality appear to drive the growth of mosquito populations. Better understanding these latter issues, however, requires more information about small-scale mobility patterns of both people and mosquitoes. This project has opened up a window on these patterns and will now be exploited beyond Barcelona and will likely have large socio-economic benefits.
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