China's Urbanization and Motorization

      

China urbanized 350 million people in the past 30 years and is poised to do it again in the next three decades. We examine the multi-dimensional characteristics, unbalanced process, and divergent paths in China’s urbanization. We study the evolution of China's Hukou system reform and land ownership policy changes, and their impact on the internal rural-urban migration.
The ensuing expansion of urban land and intensification of urban activities have led to ballooning mobility demands. Meanwhile rising income and falling automobile prices have released a wave of mass motorization, resulting in severe traffic congestion and air pollution, creating an urgent need but limited opportunity for better mobility management. However, the overall growth of automobiles in China conceals significant variation among its cities. Crucial differences in the timing and structure of these cities’ transportation policies have influenced their effectiveness, efficiency and equity; and the variation among cities also represents remarkably different social and economic priorities and a willingness by various cities (and the tolerance by Central Government) to experiment.  

Morality vs. Legitimacy: Why do the Chinese Obey the Law, Jingkang Gao, and Jinhua Zhao , Law and Human Behavior, (2017)

This study explored two aspects of the rule of law in China: (1) motivations for compliance with 4 groups of everyday laws and regulations and (2) determinants of the legitimacy of legal authorities. We applied a structural equations model, constructed from Tyler’s conceptual process-based self-regulation model with morality added as a motivation, to online questionnaire responses from 1,000 Shanghai drivers. We explored the compliance with four particular groups of laws: public disturbance...

Distributional Effects of Lotteries and Auctions —License Plate Regulations in Guangzhou, Shenhao Wang, and Jinhua Zhao , Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 11/2017, Volume 106, p.473–483, (2017)

Lotteries and auctions are common ways of allocating public resources, but they have rarely been used simultaneously in urban transportation policies. This paper presents a unique policy experiment in Guangzhou, China, where lotteries and auctions are used in conjunction to allocate vehicle licenses. Guangzhou introduced vehicle license regulations to control the monthly quota of local automobile growth in 2012. To obtain a license, residents are required to choose between the lottery and...

Shaping Rapidly Growing Chinese Cities: Lessons in the Behavioural Impacts of Transport Finance Choices, Jinhua Zhao, and David Block-Schachter , Improving Urban Access: New Approaches to Funding Transport Investment, London, (2016)

The need to finance urban access to meet mobility needs in both the developed and developing worlds in a sustainable fashion is undeniable. However, the way the money is raised has an impact on travel and location behavior. This chapter focuses on how accessibility can bridge the gap between land-based financing and mobility-based financing.

After examining the theoretical effects of pricing on accessibility, we focus on two Chinese examples. The first case emphasizes the diversity of...

Normative and Image Motivations for Compliance with Sustainable Transportation Policy, Jingkang Gao, and Jinhua Zhao , Urban Studies, (2016)

A high level of non-compliance with policies aimed to protect common pool resources necessitates investigation into motivations behind compliance so that policies could be tailored to raise compliance level. Compliance with such protection policies of common pool resources such as car control policies instituted in Chinese cities aimed to reduce congestion and pollution is critical to ensuring sustainable development. In 1994 Shanghai instituted a monthly license plate auction policy to...

Fixing China’s Distorted Urban Land Quota System, Yuan Xiao, and Jinhua Zhao , Paulson Institute Policy Memo, Chicago, (2015)

Chinese cities face two related problems: first, a shortage of land available for development, and second, wasted allocation of that land. Taken together, these two problems constrain local economic and social development at a time when cities are growing rapidly. Indeed, more than fifteen years after China decided to marketize land in 1998, China’s land market, to a large extent, remains inefficient. This distortion of China’s urban land market derives mainly from problems of supply. There...

Rise and Decline of the Bicycle in Beijing, Ming Yang, Qiuning Wang, Jinhua Zhao, and John Zacharias , Transportation Research Board 93rd Annual Meeting, (2014)

The strong tradition of bicycle use in Beijing has been in continuous decline since the mid1990s with bicycle share of vehicular traffic dropping from 62.7% in 1986 to 38.5% in 2000 and dropping even lower to 16.4% in 2010. Among various factors contributing to the rise and fall of bicycle use in Beijing, four are identified as having the greatest impact: policy and regulation, built environment, bicycle...

Lotteries vs. Auctions: China’s Experiments in Managing Automobile Growth, David Block-Schachter, and Jinhua Zhao , Asia Pacific Memo, Number 4 April 2015, Vancouver, (2013)

The astronomical growth in the number of private cars in China has led to very visible environmental crises and congestion. But the nationwide increase conceals crucial policy differences between cities that influence effectiveness, revenue, efficiency, equity and public acceptance.  While Shanghai and Beijing each had approximately 2 million motor vehicles in 2004, by 2010 Beijing had 4.8 million versus Shanghai’s 3.1 million.  By 2011, 38% of Beijing households were vehicle owners in...

Has Transportation Demand of Shanghai, China, Passed Its Peak Growth?, Zhan Zhao, Jinhua Zhao, and Qing Shen , Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Volume 2394, p.85–92, (2013)

On the basis of four comprehensive transportation surveys in Shanghai, China, this study examined the latest trends in Shanghai's travel demand; investigated their social, economic, and spatial drivers; and compared the pace of travel demand growth in three periods: 1980s to early 1990s, early 1990s to mid-2000s, and mid-2000s to the present. The demand growth was relatively slow in the first period and then sped up in the second before it returned to a slower pace in the third period. As...

Team Members

Jungwoo Chun's picture
PhD Student
Paul Kishimoto's picture
PhD Candidate
Xuenan Ni's picture
MCP/MST student
Shenhao Wang's picture
PhD Student
Liyan Xu's picture
PhD