Exploring and modelling the relationships between residential environment, travel behavior and travel-related subjective wellbeing in Shanghai, China

    Project: Research project

    Project Details


    Transportation research or more specifically travel behavior research is experiencing a paradigm shift from focusing on the instrumental aspect of travel (such as travel time and monetary costs) to also consider the affective experience of and the cognitive satisfaction with travel. Issues related to daily travel–related subjective wellbeing have recently received great research attention. Pleasure seeking is considered in addition to time and/or money cost minimization as important determinants of travel choices and transport decisions. This new development of academic research has the potential to help broaden the objectives of transport policies from focusing on the provision of efficient and effective transport services (i.e., facilitating the fast movements of people and freight between different places) to also provide pleasant experience of travel. Many studies have been conducted to examine the factors determining individuals’ satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) and affective experience with their daily travel and activities. Existing studies have revealed that travel satisfaction varies significantly between transport models and trip characteristics are important determinants of travel satisfaction. However, the contribution of more policy related variables such as the built environment of individuals’ residential place has rarely been studied. More importantly, notwithstanding the many studies of travel satisfaction in North America and Europe, studies in other parts of the world, where mobility, travel behavior and social norms are quite different, are very scarce. This research project is proposed to fill in these gaps.

    Based on the Principal Investigator’s long term research on built environment and travel behavior and recent research on subjective wellbeing, this research project is proposed to examine the influence of individuals’ residential environment on their travel satisfaction and travel affective experience, study the effects of travel wellbeing on short-term activity-travel choices, and explore the possible impacts of travel wellbeing in long-term mobility and residential location decisions. The case study is proposed to be conducted in Shanghai, China. This research will fill in an important gap in the travel wellbeing literature with empirical evidences from a city of a developing country and establish important linkages between travel satisfaction, travel behavior and residential environment. The outcomes of this research will be highly relevant for developing transport policies acting on the non-instrumental aspect of travel to manage travel demand and spatial policies to improve individuals’ travel satisfaction and quality of life.
    Effective start/end date1/01/1631/12/19

    UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
    • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
    • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
    • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities


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