Transition engineering of transport in megacities with case study on commuting in Beijing

Ming Bai*, Susan Krumdieck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
72 Downloads (Pure)


Private automobiles have been wildly popular around the world and have transformed the concept of personal mobility for the affluent. However, automobile-oriented development patterns have demonstrably degraded the quality of the city environment. The economic burden of transport infrastructure asset management, plus air pollution, CO2 emissions and congestion are pressing issues for all cities. City planners struggle with the issues of growth in travel demand and the costs of providing traffic management, parking, policing, and emergency services. The future of personal vehicle mobility and goods movements are particularly challenging, and it is difficult to imagine what the sustainable solutions could be for these wicked problems of transport in megacities. This paper explores urban form, transport activity and quality of life in future cities through the emerging discipline, Transition Engineering. The main methodology is the Interdisciplinary Transition Innovation, Management and Engineering (InTIME) approach, the outcome of which are innovative shift projects that directly step down the negative factors and step up in the quality of life while maintaining the access to social and economic activities. One shift project in Beijing is a new “Work Unit Retrofit” property development enterprise. Integrated land use is a popular idea, but the shift projects in this research answer the questions of “how” the transition to the future city occurs. This research demonstrates the new Transition Engineering approach to sustainable city development that results in actionable property and infrastructure development with financial and social benefits that can be clearly communicated to all stakeholders.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102452
Early online date11 Sept 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


  • Adaptive capacity
  • Commute model
  • Cycling potential
  • Energy transition
  • Future cities
  • Transition engineering
  • Urban form
  • Work unit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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