Exploring the inter-generational trends in daily travel behavior in Hong Kong and Shenzhen

Project: Research project

Project Details


Transport demand and travel behavior may vary not only from day to day but from generation to generation. Until recently travel behavior research has been more concerned about short-term travel behavior variations than long-term changes and trends in travel demand. While study on day-to-day variations of travel demand is important for designing policies for managing the daily operations of transport systems, investigation into the long-term trends in travel behavior is crucial for strategic development of transport systems and decisions about investment in transport infrastructures. This is particularly important for countries like China, which are rapidly developing and uncertain about future transport growth and its environmental implications. A better understanding of past and possible future trends in car ownership, car usage and long-term transport developments are vital so that transport demand can be assessed and catered for in an efficient and environmentally sustainable way

This research will investigate the possible changes in travel behavior between generations in Hong Kong and Shenzhen. The Shenzhen case will provide evidence on the change patterns in car ownership, car usage and travel demand in a newly and fast motorized society; the Hong Kong case will serve to answer the question if individuals’ demand for daily travel in a public-transport dominated developed society has stabilized and why. The study of both cases will contribute to the emerging literature concerning the possible saturation of travel demand and the so-called ‘peak car’ or ‘peak travel’ debate in travel behavior research, by widening the existing study scope and applying a new analytical and modeling approach through conducting empirical studies in two neighboring cities at different development stages. Overall, this research will advance knowledge of long-term changes in activity-travel behavior. The outcomes of this research should be highly relevant for developing transport policies that can accommodate long-term changes in travel behavior and transport demand.
Effective start/end date1/01/1731/12/18

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 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


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