Urban expansion and neighbourhood commuting patterns in the Beijing metropolitan region: a multi-level analysis

  • Authors: Cecilia Wong, Wei Zheng, Miao Qiao
  • Abstract
  • This study adopts a spatial perspective to analyse the complex commuting patterns of the Beijing metropolitan region. By combining measures of the built environment, neighbourhood characteristics and development time periods, a four-fold neighbourhood classification was derived by cluster analysis to reflect different urbanisation contexts. Commuting flows analysis was mapped to illustrate the spatial mismatch of home-work locations during the rampant urbanisation process. The novel use of multi-level modelling approach shows how individual socio-economic attributes and neighbourhood factors, and their interactive effects, explain the varied commuting patterns. The cross-level interactions of variables highlight the predominant influence of individual attributes, which also interact with locational conditions of neighbourhood with differential explanatory power, on commuting patterns.

  • Citation
  • Wong, C., Zheng, W., & Qiao, M. (2019, Accepted/In press). Urban expansion and neighbourhood commuting patterns in the Beijing metropolitan region: a multi-level analysis. Urban Studies.

Socio-spatial variations in commuting patterns in suburban Beijing

  • Authors: Wei Zheng, Cecilia Wong, Miao Qiao
  • Abstract
  • With rapid urbanisation and suburbanisation in China, there is clear evidence of the decoupling of home-work locations in cities which is in contrast to the socialist danwei system where workers were housed in workplace compounds. This paper examines the diverse commuting patterns of suburban neighbourhoods in the Beijing metropolitan region. The research first examines the relationship between the characteristics of commutes in terms of time, distance, and mode, and the socio-economic attributes of residents. The analysis allows us to examine how different socio-economic groups, via latent class analysis, are often spatially concentrated in marginalised neighbourhoods, and further disadvantaged in their commuting experience. The socio-spatial variations in commuting patterns are analysed via GIS mapping analysis, statistical testing, and multiple regression analysis. Major variations were found in the commuting patterns in terms of time, distance and mode across different socio-economic groups and across various suburban neighbourhood types. The results from regression models further suggest that personal resources have the strongest influence on commuting time but less so on distance, regardless of the type of neighbourhoods they live. The findings call for integrative planning and major transport measures, at different spatial scales, to shape commuting behaviour. Despite the unique institutional and cultural context of China, the lessons learnt from the need to have integrative strategic planning are relevant to other cities, and especially those in the developing world which are undergoing rapid urbanisation.

  • Citation
  • Zheng, W., Wong, C., & Qiao, M. (2019, Accepted/In press). Socio-spatial variations in commuting patterns in suburban Beijing. Built Environment.

Sustainable urbanisation and community well-being in suburban neighbourhoods in Beijing, China

  • Authors: Miao Qiao, Cecilia Wong, Wei Zheng
  • Abstract
  • Rapid outward expansion of urban land in many of China’s cities has resulted in the production of spatially diverse suburban areas, including newly developed residential complexes and the incorporation of existing neighbourhoods into the urban fabric. The concept of ‘community well-being’ provides a useful framework to examine the relationship between the well-being of individuals and the physical environment and spatial conditions in which they live. While the study of subjective well-being and its determinants has been rapidly established in China, most research tends to be at the city and provincial level. By adopting a spatial planning perspective, this paper aims to make an original contribution by examining community well-being in Beijing’s suburban neighbourhoods, which formed via the rapid suburbanisation process underway since the 1990s. The underlying dynamics and spatial variations of community well-being are assessed by subjective and objective measures and taking both personal attributes and neighbourhood environmental factors into account to draw out policy implications for sustainable urban development.

  • Citation
  • Qiao, M., Wong, C., & Zheng, W. (2019). Sustainable Urbanisation and Community Well-Being in Suburban Neighbourhoods in Beijing, China. International Journal of Community Well-Being, 2(1), 15-39.

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'Dispersing, Regulating and Upgrading’: urban villages in suburban Beijing

  • Authors: Cecilia Wong, Miao Qiao, Wei Zheng
  • Abstract
  • Urban villages in China are very much a phenomenon of socio-spatial segregation rooted in deeply institutionalised urban-rural administrative dualism. This paper makes an original contribution to the debate by examining the role played by planning policies and measures in the redevelopment of urban villages in suburban Beijing under the state’s ‘National New Urbanisation Plan’. By taking a spatial perspective, the analysis unpacks the dynamics between the top-down planning approach and three case study urban villages, especially how the villages have responded differently to the implementation of the new urbanisation strategies. Our findings shed light on the Chinese state’s ambitious strategy of restructuring informal urban spaces and activities under the rhetoric of ‘ecological civilisation’ and reconfiguring both people and activities into hierarchical city clusters.

  • Citation
  • Wong, C., Qiao, M. & Zheng, W. (2018) Dispersing, regulating and upgrading’ urban villages in suburban Beijing, Town Planning Review, 89(6), 597-621.

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Learning urban resilience from a social-economic-ecological system perspective: A case study of Beijing from 1978 to 2015

  • Authors: Zhan Wang, Xiangzheng Deng, Cecilia Wong, Zhihui Li, Jiancheng Chen
  • Abstract
  • After the People's Republic of China (PRC) established in 1949, central planners have made much efforts to greening the capital city, Beijing. However, with the increasing population and consumption in the city, the increasing environmental risks continually flow into the local social-economic-ecological system (SEES) through ecological intercorrelation from neighborhoods, so that the thresholds of risks challenge the urban resilience of Beijing and the surrounding area. Thereby, we analyze the 139 selected indicators to deeply understand the systematic risks across temporal scale during 1978e2015 in Beijing. Results show the development pathway of Beijing experienced three stages from “entrance”, “soar” to “coursing”. In the current new stage, the ecological impacts and resource use per capita are main constrains to future development in Beijing. This implies to a framework of urban growth for a demonstration pilot path of eco-urbanization in five aspects: 1) strategic clarification of the growth space; 2) design the urban growth path based on ecosystem planning with functional landscape architecture; 3) higher standards of industrial establishments with advanced environmental assessment and monitoring; 4) construction of environmental infrastructures with smart resource recycling; and 5) based on strict implementation of institutions and regulations to maximize the function of market allocation.

  • Citation
  • Wang, Z., Deng, X., Wong, C., Li, Z. and Chen, J., 2018. Learning urban resilience from a social-economic-ecological system perspective: A case study of Beijing from 1978 to 2015. Journal of cleaner production, 183, 343-357.

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Methodology of Community Survey in Beijing Metropolitan Area: Spatial typology, sampling methods and questionnaire design

  • Authors: Cecilia Wong,Miao Qiao, Wei Zheng, Richard Kingston, Lei Wang, Somayeh Taheri
  • Citation
  • Wong, C., Qiao, M., Zheng, W., Kingston, R., Wang, L., and Taheri, S. (2018) Methodology of Community Survey in Beijing Metropolitan Area: spatial typology, sampling methods and questionnaire design. Working Paper. Manchester Urban Institute (SPA-Lab).

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