Understanding livable dense urban form for social activities in transit-oriented development through human-scale measurements

Wei Lang, Eddie C.M. Hui, Tingting Chen, Xun Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Transit-oriented development (TOD) has been one of the critical concerns for developing dense urban form. Capturing the human-scaled effects of dense urban form in TOD remains poorly explored. This study aims to devise human-scaled measurements to investigate the areas around metro stations in TOD, focusing on the interaction between the physical environment and residents' activities. We employed Urban Network Analysis (UNA) in GIS at the building level with five metrics—Reach, Betweenness, Gravity, Closeness, and Straightness—to delineate the spatial configurations of TOD areas; compiled Facebook check-in and points of interest (POIs) data to capture residents' social activities; and synthesized urban form attributes and social activities with a spatial lag model to explore spatial correlations. Urban forms within an 800-m TOD radius have significant impacts on the spatial distribution of POIs and social activities. Traditional neighborhoods are characterized by high Reach, Gravity, and Betweenness values, equipped with spatially evenly distributed and rich urban functions of facilities, services, and social activities, whereas integrated development neighborhoods are associated with high Closeness values and are equipped with agglomerated facilities, services, and social activities. Furthermore, the residents' social activities vary by time and generally happen in high Betweenness and Gravity areas during leisure hours. Strengthening urban form through dense road networks, small blocks, side streets, and direct linkages will encourage social activities and enhance residents’ accessibility to facilities and services. Urban form follows neighborhood functions that determine a good street life of services, facilities, and social activities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102238
JournalHabitat International
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • Function
  • Human-scale measurements
  • Liveability
  • Social activities
  • Urban form
  • Urban network analysis (UNA)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urban Studies

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