Density-oriented versus development-oriented transit investment: Decoding metro station location selection in Shenzhen

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - subway/metro, place - asia, land use - transit oriented development, land use - urban density, land use - planning, economics - subsidy, infrastructure - station


Metro investment, Station location, Transit-oriented development, Shenzhen


The transit-oriented development literature has focused on the built environment around stations in operation, largely neglecting how the station location was selected. We hypothesize that city governments in China are likely to put stations outside established suburban centers. By putting metro stations at relatively underdeveloped places, city governments can lower right-of-way cost and gain more revenue from future land transactions. Using Shenzhen as a case study, we test this hypothesis with metro planning examples and land transaction data from 2000 to 2014. We found that metro alignment and station placement has bypassed the core of established communities. This planning practice is supported by a strong real estate market that appreciates transit accessibility, despite the high transit operation subsidy.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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