Kunbo Shi successfully defended his PhD


On April 20, 2022, Kunbo Shi successfully defended his PhD "Online purchases, travel behavior, and the built environment: A focus of tangible goods and intangible services". He obtained the degree of Doctor in Science: Geography (UGent). Supervisor was professor Frank Witlox (Department of Geography, Ghent University). Kunbo’s PhD aims to explore how online purchases impact travel and further examine the role of the built environment in online purchases. The results show that e-shopping for tangible goods (e.g., clothes, electronics) tends to replace shopping trips. However, the replacement effect is modest for car owners. Meanwhile, the findings show that buying intangible services (e.g., eating out services, hairdressing services) online can encourage consumers to travel more frequently and farther, thereby increasing the use of motorized modes. Furthermore, the dissertation confirms that built environment elements play roles in online purchases. Therefore, implementing built environment interventions to manage online purchase behavior may be useful to mitigate the adverse effects of online purchases on transport systems.