Diverse Effects of Improved Individual Accessibility on Activity-travel Behavior in Suburban China: A Case of Guangzhou

Authors: Zifeng Chen*, The University of Hong Kong, Anthony G.O. Yeh, The University of Hong Kong
Topics: Urban Geography, China, Transportation Geography
Keywords: space-time accessibility, time geography, activity participation, suburbanization, urban China
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 12:40 PM / 2:20 PM
Room: Congressional B, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Parallel to the gradual market transition since the late 1970s, the state and market have synergistically shaped a unique pathway of suburbanization in China. It not only fosters income disparity but also elevates the institution-related inequality within each income class in the suburban areas. Such social division, and the resultant disparity in mobilities, have reinforced the inequality in accessing services among different social groups. Even with policies to enhance individual accessibility, it is not well understood how the improved accessibility differently (and unequally) influences the actual behavior of different social groups. This study thereby applies the space–time accessibility measure to analyze the diverse effects of improved individual accessibility on activity-travel behavior in suburban China. We conducted a case study of 4 suburban neighborhoods in Guangzhou based on first-hand activity diary data (collected in 2018). We employ the propensity score matching approach to model the changes of activity-travel behavior (including out-of-home non-work activity participation and trip count, complexity of trip chains and sizes of activity spaces) by improved accessibility, and identify their variations among different groups. The results indicate that for the public-housing residents, improved accessibility does not increase participation in either shopping or leisure activities while expands their activity spaces. For the urban-village residents, improved accessibility only increases participation in shopping activities, and does not expand their activity spaces. This implies that physical planning may not fully benefit the disadvantaged groups in different aspects of activity-travel behavior.

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