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Comparing urban form correlations of the travel patterns of older and younger adults


  • Figueroa, Maria J.
  • Nielsen, Thomas A. Sick
  • Siren, Anu


Using disaggregated data from the Danish National Travel Survey conducted between 2006–2011, this study compares the travel patterns of older (65–84 years of age) and younger (18–64 years of age) adults regarding land use, socio-economic conditions and urban structures. The results highlight significant differences between travel patterns and their urban form correlates for the older and younger adult populations. Spatial variables such as density and regional accessibility have different and potentially reverse associations with travel among older adults. The car use of older adults is not substituted by other modes in high-density settings, as is the case for younger adults. Older adults do not respond to high regional accessibility by reducing distance traveled, but travel longer and are also more likely to continue using a car in high-access conditions. Spatial structural conditions have the potential to reinforce the need to use private cars among older adults as they attempt to maintain their independent travel and mobility. Older persons are a growing demographic group and thus, the implications of this paper for planning and policies targeting modal shift are significant. How population aging may contribute to car travel saturation or to peak travel requires further investigation.

Suggested Citation

  • Figueroa, Maria J. & Nielsen, Thomas A. Sick & Siren, Anu, 2014. "Comparing urban form correlations of the travel patterns of older and younger adults," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 10-20.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:trapol:v:35:y:2014:i:c:p:10-20
    DOI: 10.1016/j.tranpol.2014.05.007

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    Cited by:

    1. Nielsen, Thomas Alexander Sick, 2015. "Changes in transport behavior during the financial crisis. An analysis of urban form, location and transport behavior in the greater Copenhagen area 2006–2011," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 10-19.
    2. repec:eee:transa:v:116:y:2018:i:c:p:456-467 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:jotrge:v:74:y:2019:i:c:p:181-190 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Bayart, Caroline & Bonnel, Patrick & Havet, Nathalie, 2018. "Daily (im)mobility behaviours in France: An application of hurdle models," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 456-467.
    5. repec:eee:jotrge:v:76:y:2019:i:c:p:142-152 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:kap:transp:v:44:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11116-016-9680-z is not listed on IDEAS


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