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Job accessibility as an indicator of auto-oriented urban structure: a comparison of Boston and Los Angeles with Tokyo


  • Mizuki Kawabata
  • Qing Shen


Studies suggest that sprawling and auto-oriented development patterns present more difficulties for people without cars to access economic opportunities. We examine intrametropolitan and intermetropolitan variations in job accessibility by commuting mode as an indicator of auto-oriented urban structure, selecting Boston, Los Angeles, and Tokyo as study areas. Although in both US and Japanese metropolitan areas, job accessibility is significantly lower for public transit users than for auto users, job accessibility for public transit users in the US cases is strikingly lower than in Tokyo. The international comparison provides a clear picture of the significant disadvantage in accessing job opportunities encountered by US workers who are unable to use private vehicles. The empirical results uncover an important dimension of urban structure that deserves much attention from planners and policymakers.

Suggested Citation

  • Mizuki Kawabata & Qing Shen, 2006. "Job accessibility as an indicator of auto-oriented urban structure: a comparison of Boston and Los Angeles with Tokyo," Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 33(1), pages 115-130, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envirb:v:33:y:2006:i:1:p:115-130

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    Cited by:

    1. David S. Vale & Fernando Ascensão & Nuno Raposo & António Pedro Figueiredo, 2017. "Comparing access for all: disability-induced accessibility disparity in Lisbon," Journal of Geographical Systems, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 43-64, January.
    2. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:12:p:4857-:d:191767 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Martens, Karel & Golub, Aaron & Robinson, Glenn, 2012. "A justice-theoretic approach to the distribution of transportation benefits: Implications for transportation planning practice in the United States," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 684-695.
    4. repec:eee:trapol:v:59:y:2017:i:c:p:106-115 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Owen, Andrew & Levinson, David M., 2015. "Modeling the commute mode share of transit using continuous accessibility to jobs," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 110-122.
    6. Itzhak Benenson & Karel Martens & Yodan Rofé & Ariela Kwartler, 2011. "Public transport versus private car GIS-based estimation of accessibility applied to the Tel Aviv metropolitan area," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 47(3), pages 499-515, December.
    7. Changhyo Yi, 2016. "Relationship Between the Formation Conditions and Durations of One-Person Households in the Seoul Metropolitan Region," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 53(3), pages 675-697, June.
    8. repec:eee:transa:v:103:y:2017:i:c:p:296-310 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:eee:jotrge:v:19:y:2011:i:6:p:1294-1308 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. repec:eee:jotrge:v:48:y:2015:i:c:p:41-51 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Sohee Lee & Tsutomu Suzuki, 2016. "A scenario approach to the evaluation of sustainable urban structure for reducing carbon dioxide emissions in Seoul," International Journal of Urban Sciences, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(1), pages 30-48, March.
    12. 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.
    13. repec:eee:jotrge:v:59:y:2017:i:c:p:27-39 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Delmelle, Elizabeth Cahill & Casas, Irene, 2012. "Evaluating the spatial equity of bus rapid transit-based accessibility patterns in a developing country: The case of Cali, Colombia," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 36-46.
    15. repec:eee:jotrge:v:24:y:2012:i:c:p:198-205 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. repec:eee:jotrge:v:64:y:2017:i:c:p:77-88 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. repec:eee:transa:v:113:y:2018:i:c:p:529-541 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Taylor, Brian & Osman, Taner & Thomas, Trevor & Mondschein, Andrew, 2016. "Not So Fast: A Study of Traffic Delays, Access, and Economic Activity in the San Francisco Bay Area," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt9qf2481r, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.
    19. repec:eee:trapol:v:65:y:2018:i:c:p:79-88 is not listed on IDEAS

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