Seminar explores sustainable transport-oriented development

March 06, 2024

On February 28, the Department of Urban Planning and Design of Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University invited Dr Chia-Lin Chen, senior lecturer at the Department of Geography and Planning of the University of Liverpool, to give a lecture titled “Towards Sustainable Transport-Oriented Development". In the lecture, Dr Chen had an in-depth academic exchange with the present teachers and students on the current practice and future prospects of sustainable transportation development.

Dr Chen’s research interests focus on land development from the perspective of transport and mobility. Her recent books and special issues include “Improving Interchanges: Towards a Better Multimodal Hub in the People's Republic of China”, “Handbook of Transportation and Urban Transformation in China”, and special issue “The Impact of High-speed Rail: ‘Hubs, Connections and Development’”, and “High-speed Rail Cities and Regions: Spatial Implications and planning Criteria”.

The lecture focuses on Transit-oriented Development (TOD), which refers to bringing compact mixed-use developments within walking distance of high-capacity rapid transit. Dr Chen says that TOD is a model for promoting urban sustainability, helping to reduce carbon emissions, reduce traffic congestion and reduce air pollution. In addition to environmental improvements, TOD also promotes socio-economic benefits, for example, increasing economic prosperity by connecting housing and employment opportunities.

In addition, Dr Chen also proposed TOD in practice thinking, including environmental sustainability (human scale), development-oriented transit (DOT) / transit-integrated development (TID), the choice between subway/rail and bus rapid transit, whether longer subway lines are better, and the study of multilevel TOD systems.

However, TOD also faces a few challenges, mainly reflected in whether the corresponding planning is based on location, the mismatch between strategic spatial planning and public transportation, and social inequity.

Therefore, in the face of how TOD can move towards a more sustainable future, Dr Chen pointed out that there is a need to analyse and apply TOD more comprehensively, based on location, respecting the local environment, and integrating strategic planning for transportation and urban development.

By Yizhuo Liang

Edited by Yi Qian

Photos by Shuyang Xu

March 06, 2024