Mobility Functional Areas and COVID-19 Spread

Stefano Maria Iacus, Carlos Santamaria, Francesco Sermi, Spyridon Spyratos, Dario Tarchi, Michele Vespe

This work introduces a new concept of functional areas called Mobility Functional Areas (MFAs), i.e., the geographic zones highly interconnected according to the analysis of mobile positioning data. The MFAs do not coincide necessarily with administrative borders as they are built observing natural human mobility and, therefore, they can be used to inform, in a bottom-up approach, local transportation, health and economic policies. After presenting the methodology behind the MFAs, this study focuses on the link between the COVID-19 pandemic and the MFAs in Austria. It emerges that the MFAs registered an average number of infections statistically larger than the areas in the rest of the country, suggesting the usefulness of the MFAs in the context of targeted re-escalation policy responses to this health crisis.

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