With the increasing availability of new data, we aim to alleviate this gap by examining the impact of urban design upon economic vitality for the 286 largest cities in China by looking at a grid of geographical units that are 1 km by 1 km. We use these units and a set of new data (emerging big data and new data that reflecting urban developments and human mobility) to look at the impact of urban form indicators, such as intersection density (urban design), level of mixed use, and access to amenities and transportation, on economic vitality represented by activities using social media data. Our results show that these urban design indicators have a significant and positive relationship with levels of economic vitality for cities at every administrative level. The results contribute to a holistic understanding of how to improve economic vitality in cities across China at a detailed level, particularly at a time when China’s economic growth will depend largely on growth of the service sector in urban areas. We think these results can help decision makers, developers, and planners/designers to improve economic vitality in cities across China.


For more details please see our recent paper entitled "Does block size matter? The impact of urban design on economic vitality for Chinese cities" published at Environment and Planning B (online at CLICK HERE)