Effects of rural built environment on travel-related CO2 emissions considering travel attitudes

Yibin Ao (Corresponding author), Dujuan Yang, Chuan Chen, Yan Wang

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This study contributes to the understanding of the impacts of the rural built environment on travel-related CO2 emissions by considering the mediating effects of household car ownership, travel frequency, travel distance, and individual travel attitudes through structural equation modeling. The travel data were collected from an activity diary survey in rural Sichuan. Geographic information system technology, combined with on-site measurement, was used to obtain data on the built environment. After controlling the socio-demographic factors, the model results corroborate that all built environment variables had significant total effects on car ownership, travel distance, travel frequency, and travel emissions. Specifically, residents living in the village with more accessible markets, higher roads, and higher building density travel a shorter distance and emit less CO2. Meanwhile, residents living in the village with centralized living style and higher transit and destination accessibility travel less frequently but emit more CO2. Individual travel attitudes have a limited effect on travel behavior and CO2 emissions. This study suggests that planners and policymakers should consider shortening the distance between destination/transit and residential areas and increasing road and building densities. Moreover, promoting the construction of bicycling facilities and separate bicycle lanes to encourage rural residents to ride electric bicycles, bicycles, and motorcycles will reduce transport CO2 emission in Chinese rural areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-204
Number of pages18
JournalTransportation Research. Part D: Transport and Environment
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


  • Exploratory factor analysis
  • Rural built environment
  • Rural China
  • Structure equation modeling
  • Travel attitudes
  • Travel-related CO emission


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