The built environment and travel behavior in urban China: A literature review

Donggen Wang*, Meng Zhou

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

    157 Citations (Scopus)


    Interests in studying of the built environment impacts on travel behavior have proliferated from North America to other parts of the world including China. Until very recently, there has been very little research into travel behavior in China. However, during the last decade, there has been a fast growing interest in studying the built environment and travel behavior in Chinese cities, perhaps motivated by China's unprecedented urbanization and rapid urban transport development. Case studies from China provide new insights into the impacts of built environment on travel behavior that can help to enrich existing scholarship. However, currently there is a generally poor understanding of the role played by Chinese research and how it has enriched the international literature. This paper aims to fill this gap by reviewing studies in and outside China by both Chinese and non-Chinese scholars. The focus is on the contribution of these studies to the international literature. We identify four areas of contribution: how the built environment has been developed and its implications for travel behavior; the importance of housing sources in defining residential built environment and explaining travel behavior; the unique Danwei (or work unit) perspective on jobs-housing relationships and commuting behavior; and the importance of neighborhood types in explaining travel behavior in Chinese cities. The findings from this review should be relevant for researchers interested in developing future studies that will further advance geographic knowledge of the built environment and travel behavior, specifically in China and with broader global contexts.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)574-585
    Number of pages12
    JournalTransportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment
    Early online date12 Nov 2016
    Publication statusPublished - May 2017

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Civil and Structural Engineering
    • Transportation
    • Environmental Science(all)

    User-Defined Keywords

    • Literature review
    • The built environment
    • Travel behavior
    • Urban China


    Dive into the research topics of 'The built environment and travel behavior in urban China: A literature review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this