Land Use Impacts on Traffic Congestion Patterns: A Tale of a Northwestern Chinese City

Zhikang Bao, Yifu Ou*, Shuangzhou Chen*, Ting Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


Traffic congestion is a contemporary urban issue plaguing transportation planners, land developers, policy-makers, and citizens. While many studies have investigated the impact of built environments on traffic behavior in large metropolises on a regional scale, little attention has been paid to smaller urban areas, in China’s context, especially on a neighborhood level. This study investigates the spatial–temporal pattern of traffic congestion in a small-scale city, Xining, in China. By applying multivariate least-square regression analysis to social-sensing hyperlocal travel data, the results indicate that Xining is experiencing morning and evening traffic peaks on the weekdays and pre-weekends and only the evening peak during the weekends or holidays. The pre-weekend congestion is significantly worse than on a normal weekday, implying that stronger measures to consolidate traffic management should be implemented during this time. Educational land use and residential areas were found to contribute significantly to traffic congestion in Xining, and their combined effects tend to exacerbate the situation. The study furthers the understanding of traffic congestion in small urban areas, providing urban planners and policy-makers with new insights to formulate evidence-based strategies for mitigating traffic congestion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2295
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2022


  • built environment
  • land use
  • smaller urban areas
  • spatial–temporal pattern
  • traffic congestion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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