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Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1150;

The Relationships between Urban Form and Urban Commuting: An Empirical Study in China

Institute of Remote Sensing and Earth Sciences (IRSE), College of Science, Hangzhou Normal University, Hangzhou 311121, China
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
College of Geomatics & Municipal Engineering, Zhejiang University of Water Resources and Electric Power, Hangzhou 310018, China
College of Management and Economics, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China
Key Lab of Urban Environment and Health, Institute of Urban Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen 361021, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 April 2017 / Revised: 28 June 2017 / Accepted: 29 June 2017 / Published: 1 July 2017
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Urban sustainable development strategies are of great importance to rapidly urbanized countries such as China. One of the most challenging problems is how to coordinate urban spatial development with social efficiency and environmental protection, e.g., highly efficient low-carbon urban traffic. Despite broad research efforts with respect to the influence of urban form on travel patterns, questions persist as to the impact of compact urban form on travel distance and modes. In this study, we adopted urban form metrics to capture key dimensions of urban form with the aid of image processing and spatial analysis based on satellite images and statistical data from the cases of 35 cities. Combined with urban travel survey data, we empirically examined the relationships between urban form and travel patterns of local urban residents. The results showed that urban form and travel patterns have regionalized characteristics, e.g., the eastern cities are characterized by disperse urban development patterns and longer commuting times on average compared with western and central cities. We found that relatively smaller built-up areas, higher degrees of urban spatial agglomeration and more paved road area per person would decrease the commuting time of urban residents. We also found that the public transport choices of urban residents are positively associated with built-up areas and commuting times, which suggests the need for provision and promotion of facilities for a high-quality public transport system. The findings provide helpful suggestions for the planning of sustainable urban form and development of transportation. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban form; travel pattern; urban sustainable development; China urban form; travel pattern; urban sustainable development; China

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Song, Y.; Shao, G.; Song, X.; Liu, Y.; Pan, L.; Ye, H. The Relationships between Urban Form and Urban Commuting: An Empirical Study in China. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1150.

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