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Tracking accessibility: employment and housing opportunities in the San Francisco Bay Area


  • R Cervero
  • T Rood
  • B Appleyard


Shifts in job accessibility reflect, in part, the degree to whichland use and transportation decisions help bring job opportunities closer to labor forces. In this paper we argue for the wider use of accessibility indicators as part of the long-range transportation planning process. As a case example, changes in job accessibility indices are traced for the San Francisco Bay Area from 1980 to 1990, computed for 100 residential areas and the region's 22 largest employment centers. Indices are refined based on occupational match indicators that weigh the consistency between residents' employment roles and labor-force occupational characteristics at workplaces. The analysis reveals that peripheral areas tend to be the least job accessible. Moreover, employment centers that are home to highly skilled professional workers are generally the most accessible when occupational matching is accounted for. This is thought to reflect the existence of housing markets that are more responsive to the preferences of upper-income workers. Our analyses also show that residents of low-income, inner-city neighborhoods generally face the greatest occupational mismatches. Through a path analysis, the variable 'race' was found to be far more strongly associated with unemployment than was job accessibility, however, even after controlling for educational levels and other factors. We conclude that an important purpose of tracking changes in accessibility is to provide feedback on the degree to which resource allocation decisions in the urban transportation field are helping to redress serious inequities in accessibility to jobs, medical facilities, and other important destinations.

Suggested Citation

  • R Cervero & T Rood & B Appleyard, 1999. "Tracking accessibility: employment and housing opportunities in the San Francisco Bay Area," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 31(7), pages 1259-1278, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:31:y:1999:i:7:p:1259-1278

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    Cited by:

    1. Mathieu Bunel & Elisabeth Tovar, 2014. "Key Issues in Local Job Accessibility Measurement: Different Models Mean Different Results," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 51(6), pages 1322-1338, May.
    2. Cervero, Robert & Sandoval, Onésimo & Landis, John, 2000. "Transportation as a Stimulus to Welfare-to-Work: Private Versus Public Mobility," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt9q97b1tp, University of California Transportation Center.
    3. Malpezzi, Stephen, 2001. "NIMBYs and Knowledge: Urban Regulation and the "New Economy"," Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series qt7d81r1v9, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy.
    4. Cervero, Robert & Duncan, Michael, 2006. "Balanced Growth, Travel Demand, and Physical Activity," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt5c95t59t, University of California Transportation Center.
    5. Alpkokin, Pelin & Cheung, Charles & Black, John & Hayashi, Yoshitsugu, 2008. "Dynamics of clustered employment growth and its impacts on commuting patterns in rapidly developing cities," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 427-444, March.
    6. Ahlfeldt, Gabriel M., 2011. "If we build, will they pay?: predicting property price effects of transport innovations," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 33595, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. Matthieu Bunel & Elisabeth Tovar, 2012. "Local Job Accessibility Measurement: When the Model Makes the Results. Methodological Contribution and Empirical Benchmarking on the Paris Region," EconomiX Working Papers 2012-22, University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX.
    8. Stephen Malpezzi, 2001. "NIMBYs and Knowledge: Urban Regulation and the "New Economy"," Wisconsin-Madison CULER working papers 01-4, University of Wisconsin Center for Urban Land Economic Research.
    9. Détang-Dessendre, Cécile & Gaigné, Carl, 2009. "Unemployment duration, city size, and the tightness of the labor market," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 266-276, May.
    10. Cervero, Robert, 2005. "Accessible Cities and Regions: A Framework for Sustainable Transport and Urbanism in the 21st Century," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt27g2q0cx, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.
    11. Marta Yánez Contreras & Marta Yánez Contreras, 2010. "El mercado laboral desde una perspectiva espacial," REVISTA APUNTES DEL CENES, UNIVERSIDAD PEDAGOGICA Y TECNOLOGICA DE COLOMBIA, September.
    12. Cervero, Robert & Duncan, Michael, 2008. "Which Reduces Vehicle Travel More: Jobs-Housing Balauce or Retail-Housing Mixing?," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt1s110395, University of California Transportation Center.

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