To address worsening urban traffic and environmental issues, planners and policy makers in China have begun to recognize the importance of shaping vehicle use through the built environment. However, very few studies can be found that examine the relationship between the built environment and vehicle use in the Chinese context. With data collected in Zhongshan Metropolitan Area, this study examined how two built environment representations-simple measures and neighborhood types-were related to household car trips and motorcycle trips in China. The results of the negative binomial regression models showed that the household socio-demographic measures displayed significant association, and the built environment representations enhanced the explanatory powers. All else being equal, households in Zhongshan would generate less car and motorcycle trips if located in neighborhoods with denser land use development, better transit service and less connective street networks. In order to shape vehicle use, the findings provided informative insights for planners and policy makers to form a relatively high density of land use developments, slow down the construction of street networks, provide more jobs adjacent to residential areas and facilitate easy access to public transportation services.

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Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University

Zhang, Y., Wu, W., Li, Y., Liu, Q., & Li, C. (2014). Does the built environment make a difference? An investigation of household vehicle use in Zhongshan Metropolitan Area, China. Sustainability, 6(8), 4910–4930. doi:10.3390/su6084910