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The Impact of Metropolitan Structure on Commute Behavior in the Netherlands: A Multilevel Approach


  • Tim Schwanen
  • Frans M. Dieleman
  • Martin Dijst


This paper documents the investigation of the impact of metropolitan structure on the commute behavior of urban residents in the Netherlands. Not only has the impact of monocentrism versus polycentrism been analyzed, but the influence of metropolitan density and size has also been considered, together with the ratio of employment to population and the growth of the population and employment. Furthermore, data are used at a variety of levels of analysis ranging from the individual worker to the metropolitan region rather than being drawn from aggregate level statistics alone. Multilevel regression modeling is applied to take account of the interdependencies among these levels of aggregation. With regard to mode choice, the results indicate that the probability of driving an auto to work is lower in employment-rich metropolitan regions, and rises as the number of jobs per resident has grown strongly. Furthermore, women in most polycentric regions are less likely to commute as an auto driver. All else being equal, commute distances and times for auto drivers are longer in most polycentric regions than in monocentric urban areas. In addition, commute time as an auto driver rises with metropolitan size, whereas commute distance depends on employment density and the growth of the number of jobs per resident. The investigation shows that metropolitan structure, although significantly influencing commute patterns, explains only a small part of the variation of individuals' commute behavior. Copyright 2004 Gatton College of Business and Economics, University of Kentucky..

Suggested Citation

  • Tim Schwanen & Frans M. Dieleman & Martin Dijst, 2004. "The Impact of Metropolitan Structure on Commute Behavior in the Netherlands: A Multilevel Approach," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(3), pages 304-333.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:growch:v:35:y:2004:i:3:p:304-333

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    Cited by:

    1. Vaz, Eric & Aversa, Joseph, 2013. "A Graph Theory Approach for Geovisualization of Anthropogenic Land Use Change: An Application to Lisbon," Journal of Spatial and Organizational Dynamics, CIEO-Research Centre for Spatial and Organizational Dynamics, University of Algarve, vol. 1(4), pages 254-264.
    2. Christy Collins & Arianne De Blaeij, 2005. "Trends in commuter and leisure travel in The Netherlands 1991-2001 - Mode choice and travel time," ERSA conference papers ersa05p615, European Regional Science Association.
    3. repec:ris:cieodp:2013_021 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Rafael Henrique Moraes Pereira & Vanessa Nadalin & Leonardo Monasterio & Pedro Henrique Melo Albuquerque, 2012. "Quantifying Urban Centrality: A Simple Index Proposal and International Comparison," Discussion Papers 1675a, Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada - IPEA.
    5. Benassi, Federico & Boeri, Marco & Elezi, Pranvera & Zindato, Donatella, 2016. "The importance of spatial adjustment processes in the labour force: the case of Albania," MPRA Paper 74500, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. repec:eee:transa:v:100:y:2017:i:c:p:65-80 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Antti Vasanen, 2013. "Spatial Integration and Functional Balance in Polycentric Urban Systems: A Multi-Scalar Approach," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 104(4), pages 410-425, September.
    8. repec:eee:transa:v:103:y:2017:i:c:p:235-249 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:2:p:425-:d:130495 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Natalia Presman & Arie Arnon, "undated". "Commuting Patterns in Israel," Regional and Urban Modeling 283600076, EcoMod.
    11. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:10:p:1824-:d:114594 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Jie Zhang & Yang Xie, 2015. "Optimal Intra-Urban Hierarchy of Activity Centers—A Minimized Household Travel Energy Consumption Approach," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(9), pages 1-19, August.
    13. Tae-Hyoung Gim, 2012. "A meta-analysis of the relationship between density and travel behavior," Transportation, Springer, vol. 39(3), pages 491-519, May.
    14. Paolo Veneri, 2010. "Urban Polycentricity and the Costs of Commuting: Evidence from Italian Metropolitan Areas," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(3), pages 403-429.
    15. van de Coevering, Paul & Schwanen, Tim, 2006. "Re-evaluating the impact of urban form on travel patternsin Europe and North-America," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 229-239, May.
    16. Aguiléra, Anne & Voisin, Marion, 2014. "Urban form, commuting patterns and CO2 emissions: What differences between the municipality’s residents and its jobs?," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 243-251.
    17. Overmars, Koen P. & Verburg, Peter H., 2006. "Multilevel modelling of land use from field to village level in the Philippines," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 435-456, September.

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