Happiness in urbanizing China: The role of commuting and multi-scale built environment across urban regions

Although the relationship between commuting time and residents’ happiness has been widely investigated, few studies have examined how the connection varies with urbanization levels. Using 7,774 individual samples across China, this study employs a multilevel ordered logit model to examine how commuting time is correlated with residents’ happiness. The effects of both the neighborhood and city-level built environment are revealed. The authors' findings show that commuting time is an essential factor correlated with residents’ happiness and the correlation varies across urbanization levels. People from cities with high urbanization rates (>70%) have a strong mental endurance of commuting time, whereas commuting time is more influential on residents’ happiness in cities with low urbanization rates (<50%). For the effects of the built environment, residents’ happiness is significantly associated with both levels of built environment in cities with urbanization rates higher than 50%. Conversely, residents’ happiness is only significantly correlated with the neighborhood built environment in cities with urbanization rates lower than 50%. Hence, to enhance residents’ happiness, urban planners and policy makers should consider multi-scale built environment characteristics and improve the public transport services according to local urbanization levels.


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  • Accession Number: 01717486
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 23 2019 3:04PM