AbstractReducing driving among young adults is an important topic because their travel behavior is shaping future travel trends. However, previous studies have paid less attention to the influence of compactness at both residences and workplaces on young adults’ commuting behavior in the Chinese context. Moreover, few studies have examined the influential pathways from compactness to young adults’ commuting behavior. To fill these gaps, based on a post-’80s (people born between 1980 and 1989) survey conducted in Shanghai in 2013, this study employed a generalized structural equation model to examine whether both compact residences and workplaces affect young adults’ choices of commuting mode and, if so, whether or not car ownership and commuting distance are mediators. Results show that compactness at both residences and workplaces is associated with young adults’ commuting behavior, but that the compactness at residences has a higher influence. Moreover, we identify that both car ownership and commuting distance are mediators in the relationship between compact residences and commuting behavior, but not in the relationship between compact workplaces and commuting behavior. This study concludes that applying the compact land-use policy at both residences and workplaces could reduce young adults’ driving behavior in China.