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Managing urban growth to reduce motorised travel in Beijing: one method of creating a low-carbon city


  • Pengjun Zhao
  • Bin Lu


The environmental impact of rising motorised travel has become a key issue regarding low-carbon development in China. Drastic urban expansion under the current rapid urbanisation process tends to worsen these impacts. This paper examines the impacts of the patterns of urban development on motorised travel in the case of Beijing. By using household survey data, the analysis finds that the patterns of urban development on the urban fringe have a significant impact on workers' car use for their journeys to work when their socio-economic characteristics, household preferences for housing location and level of public transport accessibility are taken into account. Sprawling industrial and real estate development, characterised by a low degree of self-contained development and low-density land use, tends to increase the need to drive. The findings suggest that growth management to control sprawling development would play an important role in containing the motorised travel demand in China where transport policies are usually focused on huge and expensive transport projects. Urban growth management can have significant implications for achieving the objectives of creating a low-carbon city in China in the current process of rapid urbanisation.

Suggested Citation

  • Pengjun Zhao & Bin Lu, 2011. "Managing urban growth to reduce motorised travel in Beijing: one method of creating a low-carbon city," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 54(7), pages 959-977, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jenpmg:v:54:y:2011:i:7:p:959-977
    DOI: 10.1080/09640568.2010.547684

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