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Transport Poverty in Chinese Cities: A Systematic Literature Review

School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of Queensland, 4072 Brisbane, Australia
Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology, 2628 BL Delft, The Netherlands
School of Engineering, Aalto University, 02150 Espoo, Finland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Carmen Lizarraga
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 4707;
Received: 11 March 2021 / Revised: 19 April 2021 / Accepted: 20 April 2021 / Published: 22 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Collection Transport Inequalities, Transport Poverty and Sustainability)
The widening income gap in post-reform China has given rise to social inequality. Among those, transport poverty and inequality have significantly affected the daily life of low-income groups. While important, this is an under-researched topic in China. This gap in the academic literature is glaring given the country’s urbanization rates, sprawling cities and income differentials. Most previous studies have only focused on two aspects of transport poverty—job-housing imbalance and accessibility. A comprehensive understanding of the causes and impacts of transport inequality is currently lacking. Therefore, a systematic review of academic literature based on keywords relevant to transport poverty in China was conducted to provide a more complete assessment of the situation in Chinese cities. In total, 62 relevant studies were identified after close examination of the articles (including titles, abstracts, and full-texts). This set of articles allowed a number of general patterns to be identified. It was found that the most common causes of transport poverty include: a lack of access to private vehicles; uneven access to alternative transport options; inadequate public transport provision; jobs-housing imbalance; and the hukou system (a system of household registration which aims to regulate population distribution and rural-to-urban migration). The main impacts of transport poverty include: curtailed mobility and longer travel times; higher household expenditures on travel; reduced access to jobs and essential services; higher household expenditures on travel; and health and environmental issues. View Full-Text
Keywords: China; transport poverty; inequality; systematic review China; transport poverty; inequality; systematic review
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kong, W.; Pojani, D.; Sipe, N.; Stead, D. Transport Poverty in Chinese Cities: A Systematic Literature Review. Sustainability 2021, 13, 4707.

AMA Style

Kong W, Pojani D, Sipe N, Stead D. Transport Poverty in Chinese Cities: A Systematic Literature Review. Sustainability. 2021; 13(9):4707.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kong, Weichang, Dorina Pojani, Neil Sipe, and Dominic Stead. 2021. "Transport Poverty in Chinese Cities: A Systematic Literature Review" Sustainability 13, no. 9: 4707.

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