Call for Papers: Special Issue on "Rail Transit Development in China and Beyond"

Rail transit is widely considered an efficient and environment-friendly means to address the increasing demand for travel. During the past decades, China has experienced a rapid development of rail transit systems, including both intra-city rail transit modes such as Metro transit and light rail transit (LRT) and inter-city ones such as high speed rail (HSR). Currently, 26 Chinese cities have urban rail transit systems in operation with a total track length of 2,612 kilometers (km), and the vast majority of them were built after 2000. At the inter-city scale, China has built the largest HSR network in the world with over 19, 000 km HSR lines in the past decade and plans to expand the network to 30,000 km by 2020. Efforts to develop rail transit are also observed in other cities in both developing and developed countries.

Transportation has been a key determinant of the spatial distribution of economic activities. At the inter-city level, transport costs can explain the concentration of population and firms in regional agglomerations. Within a metropolitan area, urban economic theory indicates that households and firms make tradeoffs between land price and access to the city center in their intra-city location choices. Rail transit drastically reduces travel time and cost within and between cities. By improving inter- and intra-city accessibility, rail transit investment in China and other countries not only has a direct impact on travel patterns, but also could affect urban development and economic growth. Understanding the impacts of rail transit investment has significant implications for appropriate policy adaptions to direct future growth trajectories.

Given the significant implications of rail transit for nurturing development and driving population agglomeration and urban growth, this special issue will examine the impacts of rail transit including both inter-city and intra-city systems along multiple dimensions in different local, regional, and national contexts. It provides a unique opportunity to look at rail transit from interdisciplinary perspectives and to form a systematic and coherent view on effective planning and policy interventions to direct economic growth and urban development enabled by rail transit investment and to mitigate potential negative effect. The special issue aims to attract high-quality papers on the rail transit systems in China. Studies focusing on rail transit development in other countries are also welcome.

Major Topics

This special issue will prioritize paper submissions that cover the following topics (but not limited to):

- Rail transit and land use development
- Rail transit and neighborhood change
- The impacts of rail transit on the real estate markets
- Rail transit and economic growth
- Rail transit and travel behavior

To facilitate debates on related research topics, we are planning for two symposiums in 2017, including the 2nd Symposium on the HSR Network in China in Guangzhou in June 2017, which will be hosted by Jinan University and one special session on rail transit at the 11th annual conference of the International Association for China Planning (IACP), which will be hosted by the Harbin Institute of Technology in Harbin, China in June 2017. Both events will be chaired by the guest editors, with the support from the IACP organization. The potential special issue contributors are encouraged to join engaged discussions to help build cohesiveness of the special issue.

Key Dates

Initial paper submission via the JTLU website: September 1, 2017
Feedback of the first-round review: February 1, 2018
Feedback of the second-round review: July 1, 2018
Final paper submission: October 1, 2018
Online first: December 1, 2018

Publication Costs:

All articles in this special issue will be open-access articles. The publication costs for each article in this special issue is $500.

Guest Editors
Dr. Mi Diao
Assistant Professor
Department of Real Estate
National University of Singapore

Dr. Xueliang Zhang
Institute of Finance and Economics
Shanghai University of Finance and Economics

Dr. Yingling Fan
Associate Professor
Humphrey School of Public Affairs
University of Minnesota