Shaping urban transport policies in China: Will copying foreign policies work?

Rui Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


After decades of rapid economic growth, Chinese cities now face serious urban transport challenges, such as congestion, air pollution, energy shortage, and global climate change. Efficient and equitable urban transport policies are essential to China's sustainable development, in which urbanization plays a critical role. Can Chinese cities solve these challenges by copying or modeling the policies of other nations? This paper argues that understanding the unique contexts of Chinese cities is necessary for predicting whether policies implemented elsewhere will perform well in China. The study explores four examples of hotly contested urban transport policies. The previous experience of each policy is compared with its likely efficiency and distributional consequences in China. Specific attention is paid to how the policy context - the spatial and institutional characteristics of the Chinese cities - can affect the adoption of foreign urban transport policies in China. Suggestions regarding the four policies are proposed to policy makers, followed by conclusions and discussions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-152
Number of pages6
JournalTransport Policy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Chinese urban transport
  • Congestion charge
  • Driving ban
  • New plate quota
  • Park-and-ride
  • Policy context

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