Shanghai Urban Neighborhood Survey (SUNS)


CASER researchers collaborated with Shanghai University in designing and implementing the Shanghai Urban Neighborhood Survey (SUNS), a neighborhood-based, spatially constructed household panel survey project that collected comprehensive information at the neighborhood, household, and individual level using a mixed-method approach that integrated social surveys with systematic observation. The project initially aimed to imitate the Hong Kong Panel Study of Social Dynamics (HKPSSD) but has now gone far beyond the HKPSSD to become the most comprehensive data set about a single Chinese city, covering a broad range of topics, including neighborhood environment and organizations, household socioeconomic status, housing, and residential mobility, individual education, marriage, work, health, migration experience, social interaction and cohesion, child development, and elderly care, among others.

The SUNS project consists of three components.

(1) Neighborhood Survey (2014/2015): randomly sample 537 neighborhoods (about 10% of total neighborhoods in Shanghai) and interviewed key people from all grass-root organizations in each neighborhood, with a dataset containing 537 urban residents/villagers committees, 586 homeowners’ committees, 695 real estate management companies, 362 non-government organizations, and 531 social work groups.

(2) Household Panel Survey (2016/17; 2019): Two waves of city-wide representative household panel data collections were completed in 2016/17 and 2019. The baseline household survey was completed in 2017 and included 5,102 households, 8,631 adults aged 15 or above, and 1,892 children living in 180 neighborhoods. The second wave of the survey successfully re-interviewed 4,018 households (including 7,262 adults and 1,404 children) in 2019.

(3) Neighborhood Observation Study (2018). Among 537 neighborhoods that were interviewed in 2014/15, 430 neighborhoods (including 1,316 residential quarters) were selected to conduct the systematic observation. A team of trained evaluators was sent to selected neighborhoods to record and assess built environment, accessibility, and quality of public services/recreational facilities, commercial facilities, and interaction between residents.

Selected Publications in English:

Miao, Jia, Xiaogang Wu and Xiulin Sun. 2019. “Neighborhood, social cohesion, and the Elderly’s depression in Shanghai.” Social Science & Medicine 229, 134-143

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