Metro systems and urban development: Impacts and implications

Dong Lin, Wout Broere, Jianqiang Cui* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Many cities in the world have developed metro systems. Metro systems affect urban development in many ways, such as enhancing labour force mobility, increasing urban productivity and promoting urban underground space (UUS) utilisation to accommodate urban functions. This paper explores the relationship between metro systems and urban development, with particular focus on the comprehensive impacts of metro development on the economic, environmental and social development of cities. The contribution of metro systems to urban development has been confirmed by numerous studies in many cities in the world. The positive capitalisation of metro systems is reflected in property values in areas surrounding metro systems, although the impacts may vary spatially, temporally and geographically. In addition, metro systems impact on the natural and built environments by reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, encouraging new development and urban renewal, sharping urban development and land use, facilitating commercial growth and residential development, promoting the utilisation of UUS, and increasing mixed land use and urban density. However, there are mixed effects, both positive and negative, of metro systems on equality of transit opportunity, accessibility and connectivity, public health, travel behaviour, personal identity, travel experience and safety. This study sheds light on the impacts of metro systems on urban development, and provides important information for urban and transport planners and policy-makers wishing to develop metro systems to support sustainable urban development.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104509
Number of pages22
JournalTunnelling and Underground Space Technology
Early online date2 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • metro
  • urbal development
  • urban planning
  • Economic, environmental and social impacts
  • Urban underground space (UUS)


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