Srinivasan, Sumeeta

2019
Sumeeta Srinivasan, Chenghe Guan, and Chris P. Nielsen. 2019. “Built environment, income and travel behavior: Change in the city of Chengdu 2005-2016.” International Journal of Sustainable Transportation. Publisher's VersionAbstract
In this paper, we look at differences in travel behavior and location characteristics across income in Chengdu, China at two points of time, 2005 and 2016, using household travel surveys. Specifically, we compare changes over time for different income groups for Chengdu in 2005 and 2016. We find that walking or biking remains the most common mode for all income groups but higher-income households appear to have more choices depending on the proximity of their neighborhood to downtown. We also find that both average local and average regional access have worsened since 2005. Furthermore, it appears that there is less economic diversity within neighborhoods in 2016 when compared to 2005, with more locations appearing to have 40% or more of low-, middle-, or high-income households than in the past. Finally, we find that low-income households and older trip makers are more likely to walk or bike and that high-income households are the most likely to own cars and use motorized modes. Built environment characteristics like mixed land use appear to significantly reduce travel time in 2016 but do not result in higher non-motorized transport mode share. We contribute to existing literature by evaluating changes in the relationship of built environment and travel behavior during a period of rapid urbanization and economic growth in a Chinese city.
Chenghe Guan, Sumeeta Srinivasan, and Chris P. Nielsen. 2019. “Does neighborhood form influence low-carbon transportation in China?” Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 67, Pp. 406-420. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Developing less auto-dependent urban forms and promoting low-carbon transportation (LCT) are challenges facing our cities. Previous literature has supported the association between neighborhood form and low-carbon travel behaviour. Several studies have attempted to measure neighborhood forms focusing on physical built-environment factors such as population and employment density and socio-economic conditions such as income and race. We find that these characteristics may not be sufficiently fine-grained to differentiate between neighborhoods in Chinese cities. This research assesses characteristics of neighborhood spatial configuration that may influence the choice of LCT modes in the context of dense Chinese cities. Urban-form data from 40 neighborhoods in Chengdu, China, along with a travel behaviour survey of households conducted in 2016, were used to generate several measures of land use diversity and accessibility for each neighborhood. We use principle component analysis (PCA) to group these variables into dimensions that could be used to classify the neighborhoods. We then estimate regression models of low-carbon mode choices such as walking, bicycling, and transit to better understand the significance of these built-environment differences at the neighbourhood level. We find that, first, members of households do choose to walk or bike or take transit to work provided there is relatively high population density and sufficient access to public transit and jobs. Second, land-use diversity alone was not found to be significant in affecting LCT mode choice. Third, the proliferation of gated communities was found to reduce overall spatial connectivity within neighborhoods and had a negative effect on choice of LCT.
2016
Yu Deng and Sumeeta Srinivasan. 2016. “Urban land use change and regional access: A case study in Beijing, China.” Habitat International, 51, February, Pp. 103-113. Publisher's VersionAbstract

In the recent past Beijing has experienced rapid development. This growth has been accompanied by many problems including traffic congestion and air pollution. Understanding what stimulates urban growth is important for sustainable development in the coming years. In this paper, we first estimate a binary auto-logistic model of land use change, using physical and socioeconomic characteristics of the location and its access to major centers within the city as predictors. We find that variables determining regional access, like time distance to the city center, the Central Business District (CBD), industrial centers, employment centers, and the transportation system, significantly impact urban land conversion. By using measures of access to predict land use change we believe that we can better understand the planning implications of urban growth not only in Beijing but other rapidly developing cities.

2010
Sumeeta Srinivasan. 2010. “Linking travel behavior and location in Chengdu, China: A geographically weighted approach.” Transportation Research Record, 2193, Pp. 85-95. Publisher's VersionAbstract
This study uses geographically weighted regressions and multilevel models to understand the implications of location and attitudinal characteristics for travel behavior in Chengdu, China. In particular, the estimated distance traveled and the mode choice of nonmotorized versus motorized vehicles for work- and school-related trips were examined by using a recent household trip diary data set. The results suggest that location characteristics may be influential in the prediction of travel behavior but cannot be fully captured by simple categorization such as inner ring location versus peripheral location. Variations in travel behavior can be related to socioeconomic and location variables in ways that vary by location in a complex manner. Policy makers should therefore reconsider the role that location and attitudinal implications may play in meeting travel demand in rapidly developing cities like Chengdu.
Jieping Li, Joan L Walker, Sumeeta Srinivasan, and William P Anderson. 2010. “Modeling private car ownership in China: Investigating the impact of urban form across mega-cities.” Transportation Research Record , 2193, Pp. 76-84. Publisher's VersionAbstract
The rising prevalence of private cars in the developing world is causing serious congestion and pollution. In China, private cars started to emerge as an important travel mode in the past decade. Prospective research on the relationship between urban form and car ownership is relatively uncommon in the developing world, and China offers a unique study opportunity, given the tremendous increases in private cars and fast-paced urbanization over the past decade. This study investigates the influence of urban form on car ownership as well as the impact of other socioeconomic and demographic factors on private car ownership across megacities in China. Analysis was conducted through the use of data from 36 megacities and two household survey data sets collected in Beijing and the city of Chengdu, China. Ordinary least squares regression and discrete choice models were employed to execute the aggregate and disaggregate analysis of the urban form impact on private car ownership across cities. The statistical model results demonstrate that urban affluence, urban scale, and road infrastructure supply factors have significant positive effects on the city level of private car ownership across cities. Population density calculated at the subdistrict level, however, had a significant negative effect on private car ownership across cities. Households with private cars were found to prefer to live close to urban centers where amenities were readily available. The results provide evidence for urban planners and policy makers.

This paper uses data from the Project's household survey in Chengdu, Sichuan.

Joan L Walker, Jieping Li, Sumeeta Srinivasan, and Denis Bolduc. 2010. “Travel demand models in the developing world: Correcting for measurement errors.” Transportation Letters, 2, 4, Pp. 231-243. Publisher's VersionAbstract
While transport modelers in developed countries are accustomed to working with relatively rich datasets including transport networks and land use data, such databases are rarely available in developing countries. However, developing countries such as China with its immense rate of economic growth are, arguably, most in need of demand models. The research addressed in this paper is how to develop mode choice models for planning and policy analysis when high quality level of service data are not available. The research makes use of a 1,001 household travel and activity survey from Chengdu collected by the China Project at Harvard University in 2005. Chengdu has an urban population of over 3 million and a GDP growth rate of over 20% per year. The survey contains a rich array of self-assessed information on available modes and accessibility and also includes a number of attitudinal questions. The approach taken here is to treat level of service as a latent (i.e., unobservable) variable. Measurement equations (from the structural equation model paradigm) are used to infer latent level of service, and these equations are integrated with the mode choice model. Our initial results indicate that models that do not correct for measurement error may significantly underestimate travelers' values of time. The methodological approach employed has potential for improving models estimated with higher quality network data, because it can correct for measurement error that exists, for example, in network-derived level of service variables.

This paper is based on data from the Project's household survey in Chengdu, Sichuan.

2008
Peter Rogers and Sumeeta Srinivasan. 2008. “Comparing sustainable cities—Examples from China, India and the USA.” In Sustainable urban development in China: Wishful thinking or reality?, edited by Marco Keiner. Munster, Germany: Verlagshaus Monsenstein und Vannerdat OHG. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Due to an unprecedented economic
growth, fuelled by a pro-growth policy,
China’s cities are mushrooming.

In the coming years, the mass migration
from rural to urban areas will continue.

The demand for energy and resources will
continue to rise.

China’s cities will increasingly contribute
to global warming and the depletion of
the environment.

The crucial question is: Can urban development
in China become sustainable?
Sumeeta Srinivasan. 2008. “A visual exploration of the accessibility of low income women: Chengdu, China and Chennai, India.” In Gendered Mobilities, edited by Tanu Priya Uteng and Tim Cresswell. Hampshire, UK: Ashgate Publishing. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Being socially and geographically mobile is generally seen as one of the central aspects of women's wellbeing. Alongside health, education and political participation, mobility is indispensable in order for women to reach goals such as agency and freedom. Building on new philosophical underpinnings of 'mobility', whereby society is seen to be framed by the convergence of various mobilities, this volume focuses on the intersection of mobility, social justice and gender. The authors reflect on five highly interdependent mobilities that form and reform social life.
2007
Christopher P Zegras and Sumeeta Srinivasan. 2007. “Household income, travel behavior, location and accessibility: Sketches from two different developing country contexts.” Transportation Research Record, 238, Pp. 128-138. Publisher's Version
2005
Sumeeta Srinivasan. 2005. “Linking land use and transportation in a rapidly urbanizing context: A study in Delhi, India.” Transportation, 32, 1, Pp. 87-104. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Cities in developing countries like India are facing some of the same concerns that North American cities are: congestion and urban growth. However, there is a sense of urgency in cities like Delhi, India in that this growth is far more rapid as both urbanization and motorization are ongoing processes that have not yet peaked. In this paper, we examine land use change and its relationship with transportation infrastructure and other planning related variables in a spatial context. We estimate land use change models at two different scales from separate data. Cellular automation and Markov models were used to understand change at the regional scale and discrete choice models to predict change at the local level. The results suggest that land use in the Delhi metropolitan area is rapidly intensifying while losing variety. These changes are affected by industrial, commercial and infrastructure location and planners and policy-makers need to better understand the implications of location decisions. We also examine these results in the context of a policy framework for data-based planning that links land use and transportation models for Delhi.
Sumeeta Srinivasan and Peter P. Rogers. 2005. “Travel behavior of low-income residents: Studying two contrasting locations in the city of Chennai, India.” Journal of Transport Geography, 13, 3, Pp. 265-274. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Data on travel behavior in developing countries like India is minimal. This is especially true for the relatively poor residents of urban India. They are dependent on fewer options for transportation and have little choice in terms of employment location given their dependence on walking or bicycles. This is significant in cities like Chennai because employment is highly concentrated in the center of the city. In this study, the results of a survey of 70 households in Chennai were analyzed to estimate statistical models of travel behavior with respect to mode choice and trip frequency. The households were located in two different parts of the city: one group of households lived close to the city center (in a settlement called Srinivasapuram) and the other at the periphery (in a location called Kannagi Nagar). We analyze the differences in travel behavior due to differences in accessibility to employment and services between the two settlement locations. The results indicate that differences in accessibility appear to strongly affect travel behavior. Residents in the centrally located settlement were more likely to use non-motorized modes for travel (walk or bicycle) than the peripherally located residents. It is vital therefore that, policy makers in India consider location of employment in the planning of new housing for low-income households.