Unveiling fine-scale urban third places for remote work using mobile phone big data

Third places offer a creative alternative for both work from traditional office and home, which are becoming increasingly popular. Previous studies primarily focused on qualitative analyses and survey investigations, lacking quantitative studies exploring remote work in third places. In this study, we proposed a quantitative approach to identify and characterize the fine-scale third places for remote work, with the application in Beijing, China. Initially, we identified knowledge workers who were capable of remote work through mobile office app usage. Subsequently, we delineated the finer-scale distribution of third-place visits of remote workers using mobile phone signaling data and geospatial information. Finally, we utilized the eXtreme Gradient Boosting model and SHapley Additive exPlanations value to explore the association between third-place visits for remote work and the surrounding built environment. The results revealed that (1) approximately 61.43% of total employees had the potential to work remotely, with 11.27 % opting for remote work in third places and 4.35% choosing specific commercial third places; and (2) the popularity of these third places was characterized by highdensity mixed-use surroundings, proximity to residential communities, and easy accessibility to subway stations. The findings can reinforce the establishment of urban design guidelines for third places, thereby contributing to the development of hybrid work models and sustainable cities.

Li et al 2024 SCS_ThirdPlaces.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 16.5 MB

Assessing carbon reduction benefits of teleworking: A case study of Beijing

Teleworking can efficiently decrease the energy consumption and carbon emissions related to physical commuting. Previous studies on assessing the carbon reduction benefits of teleworking were customarily performed according to

hypotheses or qualitative methods, and disregarded different potentials of different industries for teleworking implementation. In this study, a quantitative approach was proposed to assess the carbon reduction benefits of teleworking in different industries, which was illustrated via the case study of Beijing, China. The teleworking penetrations of different industries were first estimated. Then, the carbon reduction of teleworking was assessed through the decreased commuting distance using the large-scale travel survey data. Finally, the study samples were extended to a citywide scale and the uncertainty of carbon reduction benefits was evaluated with Monte Carlo simulation. The results showed that (1) teleworking can lead to an average of 1.32 (95 % confidence interval (CI): 0.70–2.05) million tons of carbon reduction, accounting for 7.05 % (95 % CI: 3.74 %–10.95 %) of the total carbon emissions by road transport in Beijing; and (2) information and communication, and professional, scientific and technical service industries had higher carbon reduction potential. Additionally, the rebound effect slightly weakened the carbon reduction benefit of teleworking, which was necessary to be considered and mitigated through relevant policies. The proposed method can be also applied to other regions worldwide, helping to exploit future work patterns and realize global carbon neutrality targets.

Li et al 2023 STOTEN_Teleworking.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 3.0 MB