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Spatial distribution of high-rise buildings and its relationship to public transit development in Shanghai


  • Guan, ChengHe


The relationship between dense urban development, often represented by high-rise buildings, and its location vis-à-vis metro stations reflects the connection between transportation infrastructure and land use intensity. Existing literature on high-rise buildings has focused either on developed countries or on cities where urban and public transit developments have occurred in an uncoordinated manner. This paper examines the following questions: What is the spatial proximity and spatial correlation between high-rise buildings and metro stations in different stages of development in various parts of the city? What were some of the factors that resulted in the observed patterns? The results suggest that buildings constructed after 2000 and buildings within the urban core/Shanghai Proper districts had a greater spatial proximity to the metro stations. However, the spatial correlation, measured by the number of high-rise buildings within a 500-m buffer from the nearest metro stations and the time-distance to these stations, is stronger in the outer districts than in the urban core. These differences can be accounted for by Shanghai's stages of urban development, the existence of metro infrastructure when high-rise development was undertaken, and the city's land use policies. This case study sheds light on the relationship between high-density developments and metro systems in other large cities in China and other developing countries where rapid urban development coincides with the establishment of a comprehensive public transit system.

Suggested Citation

  • Guan, ChengHe, 2019. "Spatial distribution of high-rise buildings and its relationship to public transit development in Shanghai," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 371-380.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:81:y:2019:i:c:p:371-380
    DOI: 10.1016/j.tranpol.2018.09.004

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Cervero, Robert & Day, Jennifer, 2008. "Suburbanization and transit-oriented development in China," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 315-323, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yang, Jiawen & Su, Pinren & Cao, Jason, 2020. "On the importance of Shenzhen metro transit to land development and threshold effect," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 1-11.


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