Public Policy Bulletin (3rd Issue - December 2022)

3 In addition, having more job opportunities near home, measured by employment density, reduces commute distance for all types of public transit users. However, this benefit is much more substantial for non-rail-based public transit commuters because they tend to have jobs located close to home. 4. Homogeneous and heterogeneous impacts of the built environment on commuters living in specific neighborhoods Hong Kong's spatial distribution of employment density is more highly concentrated than residential density in the CBD (see Figure 3 and Figure 4). Longer distance from home to the CBD increases commute distance for public transit users living in all neighborhoods in Hong Kong. This circumstance indicates that even residents living in remote areas rely heavily on job opportunities in the CBD. It also increases commute time for public transit commuters living in job-dense downtown neighborhoods (e.g., Central and Tsim Sha Tsui) and new town neighborhoods (e.g., Shatin). Having a workplace located farther away from the CBD decreases commute distance and time for public transit commuters living in rural neighborhoods (e.g., Kwu Tong) and new town neighborhoods, indicating that residents in these neighborhoods benefit from the decentralization of employment opportunities across the city. Contrary to previous research, this study suggests that higher residential density and employment density around home reduce commute distance and/or time only for residents of low-density neighborhoods, e.g., rural neighborhoods and new town neighborhoods. Further concentration of residents and jobs has a detrimental impact on job accessibility in dense areas, such as jobdense downtown neighborhoods. Commuters living in non-downtown urban neighborhoods (e.g., Wong Tai Sin and Sham Shui Po) are the most sensitive to land-use allocation around rail stations. For example, every 1% decrease in the proportion of residential areas and every 1% increase in the proportion of commercial areas located within 500-meter radiuses of railway stations lengthen commute distance for public transit users living in these neighborhoods by 13.2% and 20.6%, respectively. Recommendations 1. Developing employment sub-centers in peripheral areas Because of the non-linear effects of employment density on commute distance and time, higher employment density will improve job accessibility in sparse neighborhoods but hamper job accessibility in Spatial distribution in Hong Kong by neighborhood type Spatial distribution of the average commute times for residents by Tertiary Planning Unit / Street Block (TPUSB) Spatial distribution of employment density by Tertiary Planning Unit / Street Block (TPUSB) 5 - 30 31 - 40 41 - 50 51 - 60 61 - 75 75 - 120 Average Commute Time (mins) 0 - 45,000 45,001 - 90,000 90,001 - 135,000 135,001 - 180,000 > 180,000 Employment Density Spatial distribution of residential density by Tertiary Planning Unit / Street Block (TPUSB) 0 -70,000 70,001 - 150,000 150,001 -225,000 225,001 - 300,000 > 300,000 Residential Density Job Dense Downtown New Town Rural Urban Neighborhood Type Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 Impacts of the Built Environment on Job Accessibility: A Case Study of Hong Kong Public Policy BULLETIN