Creating sustainable urban built environments: An application of hedonic house price models in Wuhan, China


Due to rapid urbanization, auto-mobility, and industrialization, the increasing desire to protect environments and satisfy residents has led to an emphasis on the creation of sustainable urban environments in China. This paper is an empirical study using hedonic price models to examine a comprehensive set of environmental sustainability elements including green space, transit systems, and central business districts (CBDs) and compare their relative importance in Wuhan, China. The results show that among all housing characteristics, environmental sustainability elements had the greatest impacts on house prices. Natural water resources have the most significant positive effects on property values when they are integrated with cultural, tourism, and commercial resources to form natural recreation clusters or areas. Also, home buyers are willing to pay more for housing clusters or subdivisions with proximity to CBDs. In addition, the significant negative effects of light rail on house prices within a 1-mile radius indicate that it has not become an attractive amenity to home buyers, due to combined effects of other neighborhood amenities, little land use diversity, and the fare system. These results have implications for local and regional governments in setting priorities for sustainable development.