Social Equitability of Access to Public Transportation in Shenzhen, China: Progress towards United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals 9 and 11

Authors: Jimmy Feng*, State University of New York at Geneseo
Topics: Urban Geography, Transportation Geography, China
Keywords: China; Sustainable Development Goal; Transportation; Migrants; Social Equity
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 5:20 PM / 7:00 PM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The remarkable urbanization of China since the late 1970s has brought tremendous growth to the country and its inhabitants. However, the unparalleled mass migration of rural peoples raises challenges for sustainable urban development and social equality. In 2015, the United Nations introduced the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with seventeen Sustainable Development Goals to “end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all” by 2030 (United Nations, 2017). Goals 9 and 11 highlight the increasing recognition of transportation development in fostering more equitable societies. Sustainable transportation begets sustainable development, and requires equal access. Transportation plays a critical role in mobilizing migrants from their rural homelands to the places they reside for work. Within cities, public transportation is a fundamental component of mobility. This research examines the social and spatial equity of access to public transportation in Shenzhen, China. Formerly a fishing village, the city is now home to nearly 12 million residents. Integrating data from OpenStreetMap, a service-area network analysis of walking distance to public transport stations was performed, then overlaid with demographic data in ArcGIS. Analysis reveals a discernible spatial and social inequality of access to public transportation; significant portions of Shenzhen are critically underserved. There is a divide in accessibility between the western and eastern halves of Shenzhen, and rural migrants and a minority urban population. This denotes the current failure in achieving goals 9, to develop inclusive infrastructure, and 11, to make cities and human settlements inclusive and sustainable by providing accessible transport systems for all.

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