Rapid urbanization in China has been accompanied by soaring vehicle ownership growth. Accordingly, vehicle emissions have emerged as a main source of urban air pollution, causing substantial health risks. In this context, urban rail transit in China has received increased public support to mitigate air pollution through reduced demand for private transportation, as well as to improve intra-city mobility/accessibility and thus economic growth. The rail-pollution link, however, is uncertain in their direction, given that long-term effects on induced traffic demand can partly offset short-term diversion effects. Long-term effects, however, are largely overlooked in the literature, and this study is motivated to fill this gap. In this study, in particular, I explore how urban rail transit development affects air quality over a long-term period, with broader urban rail transit characteristics taken into account. The structural equation modeling (SEM) approach is adopted to examine the complex causal relationships among a set of both exogenous and endogenous variables. Moreover, a case study of Shanghai Metro is also conducted to analyze key drivers underlying intra-city variations in terms of transit-pollution effects. Main results from this research are expected to enhance our understanding of long-term air quality impacts of urban rail transit development, and provide planning and policy implications for the role of transit-oriented development in mitigating environmental footprints.
About the Speaker:
Mr. Ou Yifu is a first-year MPhil student in the Department of Urban Planning and Design at the University of Hong Kong. He holds a master’s degree in Urban Design and Regional Planning from City University of Hong Kong and a bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Melbourne. His research interests include air pollution mitigation and urban rail transit development in China.
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