Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2017, Vol. 72 ›› Issue (8): 1444-1457.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201708009

• Urban Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Examining the dual-levels impact of neighbourhood and individual variables on car use on weekdays in Guangzhou

Suhong ZHOU1,2(), Jiangyu SONG1,2, Guangwen SONG1,2   

  1. 1. School of Geography and Planning, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
    2. Guangdong Key Laboratory for Urbanization and Geo-simulation, Guangzhou 510275, China
  • Received:2016-07-12 Revised:2017-01-19 Online:2017-08-20 Published:2017-08-20
  • Supported by:
    Excellent Youth Scientist Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41522104;Key Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41531178;Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, No.15lgjc24


The relationship between car travel and built environment is one of the hot issues in the urban studies. The existing researches mainly focus on the respective effects on car travel of individual demographic variables and built environment variables on car travel. Under the background of China's urban transformation and the social space differentiation, a growing number of scholars have examined the relationship between residents' demographics and their residential built environment. Quantifying the relative roles of the individual social attributes and the built environment in influencing car travel has a policy implication. This study applied a multilevel logit model which contains individual-level variables and neighbourhood-level variables to explore the impact on car use. It is concluded that urban residents' working-day car travel is influenced by multilevel variables associated to neighbourhood types. Most of the variation in the travel mode choice is caused by the difference among neighbourhoods. Travel mode choices have a strong neighbourhood contextual effect on car travel. As for the individual level, lower income and education level, collective unit profession, less minors in a family may help refrain the choice of automobile travel. As for the community level, improving bus stops density, building density, land mixing degree and commercial accessibility may help reduce car use ratio of working-day activities' travel. The mechanism of the relationship between two kinds of variables lies in the strength of market effect on urban residential space reconstruction. The residents who have similar social and economic attributes tend to choose the same type of neighbourhood, which has a similar built environment. These conclusions help us to have a better understanding of the mechanism behind the urban residents' working-day car travel and provide suggestions to alleviate the traffic problem by adjusting the multilevel variables in the similar type of community.

Key words: car travel, built environment, multilevel logit model, neighbourhood type, Guangzhou