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01.06.2015 | Original Article | Ausgabe 5/2015

Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 5/2015

From super block to small block: urban form transformation and its road network impacts in Chenggong, China

Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change > Ausgabe 5/2015
Zhigao Wang, Liang Li, Yinghao Li


Super block and giant road networks have been a dominant form of China’s new town development. This may lead to numerous urban problems, such as high automobile dependency, heavy traffic congestion, and unwalkable communities. In recent years, the transformation of superblocks to a new urban form with human-scale blocks and fine-grain grid road networks in certain cities in China has drawn much attention. Despite its recent positive attention, the following important questions have been raised: How will the transformation impact road network capacity? How will the changes contribute to transportation carbon emission (CE) reduction or increase? How will cities deal with rearranging the cost structure among the different stakeholders in road construction, maintenance, and management? Related factors and approaches for a solution to such issues are discussed in this study, followed by further analysis using a case study of the core area of Chenggong, a new town in Kunming, China. The study shows that concern about a negative impact on road network capacity is unfounded. Estimation using empirical data from other cities shows that a significant CE reduction is likely to be achieved; and through reasonable cost restructuring and management, a win-win situation is possible for all road construction, maintenance, and management stakeholders. Thus, an optimized societal cost-benefit arrangement can be reached through the transformation.

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