Rail Transit Impacts on Land Use: Evidence from Shanghai, China

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

land use - transit oriented development, land use - impacts, place - urban, mode - rail


Urban development, Transportation policy, Transit oriented development, Shanghai (China), Rail transit, People's Republic of China, Land use, Hedonic price models, Economic development, Cities, China, Accessibility


China has experienced a major boom in rail transit development in the past 10 years. Yet the evidence that rail transit is shaping urban travel and land development in Chinese cities has been scarcely studied and reported to the outside world. This paper attempts to fill the knowledge gap through a Shanghai case study. Evidence from Shanghai on changes in land use associated with rail transit is consistent with what the classical urban economics theory suggests: higher development intensity and more capital-intensive land uses occur in more accessible areas near train stations. Hedonic price modeling shows that the transit proximity premium amounts to approximately 152 yuan/m² for every 100 m closer to a metro station. In Shanghai, rail transit is a magnet that attracts new development or redevelopment to areas that the system covers. The rail transit system is therefore shaping urban expansion and restructuring Shanghai; this will in turn lead to efficient use of the limited urban land resources.