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Runing Ye and Helena Titheridge

Transportation as an important component for urban sustainability has been well recognized. Individual and societal well-being are critical indicators of social sustainability. However, little attention, from both a research and policy perspective, has been paid to the impacts of transportation on well-being. With extensive urban expansion resulting from rapid urbanization, commuting has become a physical and mental burden for residents in the megacities of China because of increasing travel distances and worsening travel experiences. This chapter aims to contribute to the growing literature on the relationship between transportation and well-being and also to quantitatively test this relationship by using data from a survey conducted in Xi-an, China. The results from a structural equation modeling analysis suggest that travel characteristics, including travel mode choice and level of service, significantly influence commuting satisfaction, and in turn affect overall satisfaction of life. These findings highlight the importance of transportation-related strategies on improving well-being.

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Nasma Hannawi, Peter Jones and Helena Titheridge

The Gulf States have undergone very rapid economic and population growth, which has been accompanied by major urban development and transportation system expansion. The dispersed urban fabric and largely highway-based transport system have resulted in car-dependent travel behaviour, along with its various negative consequences. To encourage more sustainable travel behaviour, several cities in the region have planned or already implemented transit systems, supported by the concept of transit oriented development (TOD). This chapter examines how cities in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region became automobile-dependent, and how recent distinctive initiatives taken by the Government of Dubai have helped the city to reorient its growth with the aim of becoming more sustainable, liveable and economically competitive, by integrating its land use and transit systems. As part of the study, the shifting attitudes and behaviour of developers in response to the planning and opening of the transit system are documented. The implications for TOD as a tool to encourage more sustainable travel behavior in GCC countries are discussed.