Sustainability based perspective on the utilization efficiency of urban infrastructure — A China study

Yang Chen, Liyin Shen, Yu Zhang, Heng Li, Yitian Ren

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


The development of urban infrastructures has been playing a key role in the urbanization process in China over last several decades. Great scale of urban infrastructures has been built and it is anticipated that great number of more will be built in the near future in the country. This paper examines whether these built infrastructures have been effectively utilized from a sustainability perspective that integrates economic, social, and environmental concerns. The Super-slack-based measure (Super-SBM) model is adopted to analyze the utilization efficiency of urban infrastructure. Data used are from 281 sample cities in China for the period of 2003–2017. Malmquist Productivity Index (MPI) is further used to examine the dynamic change of the utilization efficiency between these sample cities. The study reveals that the overall infrastructure utilization efficiency is at low level across China. The empirical analysis results show that 86% Chinese cities have low infrastructure utilization efficiency and only 11% cities present continuous satisfactory performance. There are considerable efficiency disparities both between regions and cities. It is interesting to note that some economically less developed cities present better infrastructure utilization efficiency than some better developed cities, and vice versa. Nevertheless, it is encouraging to note that 78% of the sample cities have experienced positive shift in improving infrastructure utilization efficiency in the surveyed period. The research findings provide valuable references for assisting government departments and practitioners to take measures for improving the efficiency in utilizing urban infrastructure in China.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102050
JournalHabitat International
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


  • China
  • Malmquist productivity index
  • Super-SBM model
  • Sustainability perspective
  • Urban infrastructure
  • Utilization efficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urban Studies


Dive into the research topics of 'Sustainability based perspective on the utilization efficiency of urban infrastructure — A China study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this