Date of Graduation

Spring 5-22-2018

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Asia Pacific Studies (MAPS)


College of Arts and Sciences


Asia Pacific Studies

First Advisor

Brian Komei Dempster


Evolution in the urban landscape is key for sustainable development in the world because people have progressively moved from rural areas to live in urban cities. The mobility and transport industry offer the greatest potential to reduce carbon emissions in cities. The arrival of application-based and intelligent-sharing systems into the shores of China has been disruptive to local and international businesses. These has led to a liberation of an automobile sharing economy at a much deeper and greater level: a rise in the use of electric vehicles (EVs), car-pooling, and the utilization of bike-sharing models. Integrating the pre-existing but under-utilized low-carbon transportation vehicles in urban cities, such as public transportation, with the various application-based mobility sharing business systems surfacing, we see immense potential in the transformation of urban transportation to long-term viability. However, the accelerated expansions of businesses and innovation in the sharing economy have been challenging pre-existing sources of knowledge, socio-economic ties, and physical and geographical urban infrastructures. This research investigates the relationship between the continual progress of urban structures and the socio-ecological innovations in the sharing mobility economy, utilizing observational statistics from three studies that focus on sharing transportation industry -- in particular, the sharing of rides, EVs, and bicycles in China. These statistics show that there is a robust evolutionary system that integrates the increasingly sustainable macro-level urban landscape and the innovative business structures to form a meso-level intelligent and green transport framework. Namely, these two levels of evolutionary change in urban landscapes and business structures generated by the disruptive technologies of the sharing mobility sector and brought forth by the urban changes towards increasing sustainability, both subsequently shape one another and reinforce sustainable practices and principles in the swift-changing urban sector and corporate innovation sectors in Shanghai, China.