PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2016, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (10): 1279-1287.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2016.10.011

• Reviews • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Progress in research from a lifestyle perspective of space-time behavior

Na TA1(), Yue SHEN2,*(), Yanwei CHAI3   

  1. 1. School of Geographic Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China
    2. The Center for Modern Chinese City Studies, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
    3. College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • Online:2016-10-28 Published:2016-10-26
  • Contact: Yue SHEN;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41529101, No.41571144, No.41501180;China Postdoctoral Science Foundation, No.2015M580305, No.2016T90350


China's urban transformation has brought about heterogeneous social groups and diverse lifestyles. Meeting the social needs of diverse groups has become an important goal of people-oriented urban planning. Therefore more studies are required to investigate differences in individual behavior at the micro level. The concept of lifestyle, which represents both individual's orientation to their lives and behavior choice, has drawn increasing attention from urban geographers, transportation researchers, and urban planners. With the acceleration of modernization in urban areas and increased significance of individual choice, the interactions among lifestyle, urban space, and individual behavior are even more enhanced. Lifestyle has an essential influence on individual's behavior in daily life, leading to increased intergroup differences in individual behavior and coping strategy to space policy. Thus, scholars have argued that more behavioral studies from the perspective of lifestyle are needed. Even though the lifestyle concept has been used in behavioral studies in Western countries since the 1970s, empirical studies investigating the interactions among lifestyle, urban space, and individual behavior only boomed in the last 10 years and there exist very few behavioral studies from the perspective of lifestyle in China. Based on time geography and activity-based approach, this article reviews the progress of behavioral studies from the perspective of lifestyle in China and abroad. First, we summarize the two key theoretical foundations of this field. We point out that the life path-daily path dialectic in time geography and hierarchical decision model in activity-based approach are essential theory about the relationship among lifestyle, urban space, and individual behavior. Then, we further review the two trends in behavioral studies based on lifestyle. One is the quantitative measurements of lifestyle group clusters based on different indices. There are complex factors of lifestyle, including socio-demographics, urban form, attitude and value, and space-time behavior. Space-time behavior has become a key factor to measure lifestyle. Another is to understand behavioral patterns among lifestyle groups using complicate models. Existing studies have examined the impact of lifestyle on space-time behavior in daily life, and found that there are great behavior differences between lifestyle groups. By reviewing the state-of-the-art research of this field, we indicate that lifestyle perspective can provide a new method for Chinese behavioral studies to understand the complex socio-spatial transition in urban China.

Key words: space-time behavior, lifestyle, social equality, quality of life, influencing mechanism