IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Community design and how much we drive


  • Marshall, Wesley

    () (University of Colorado Denver)

  • Garrick, Norman

    () (University of Connecticut)


The preponderance of evidence suggests that denser and more connected communities with a higher degree of mixed land uses results in fewer vehicle kilometers traveled (VKT). However, there is less agreement as the size of the effect. Also, there is no clear understanding as to the aspects of community design that are most important in contributing to lower VKT. One reason why there is some confusion on this point is that past studies have not always made a clear distinction between different community and street network design characteristics such as density, connectivity, and configuration. In this research, care was taken to fully characterize the different features of the street network including a street pattern classification system that works at the neighborhood level but also focuses on the citywide street network as a separate entity. We employ a spatial kriging analysis of NHTS data in combination with a generalized linear regression model in order to examine the extent to which community design and land use influence VKT in 24 California cities of populations from 30,000 to just over 100,000. Our results suggest that people living in denser street network designs tended to drive less. Connectivity, however, played an adverse role in performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Marshall, Wesley & Garrick, Norman, 2012. "Community design and how much we drive," The Journal of Transport and Land Use, Center for Transportation Studies, University of Minnesota, vol. 5(2), pages 5-21.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:jtralu:0079

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mindali, Orit & Raveh, Adi & Salomon, Ilan, 2004. "Urban density and energy consumption: a new look at old statistics," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 143-162, February.
    2. Su, Qing, 2010. "Travel demand in the US urban areas: A system dynamic panel data approach," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 110-117, February.
    3. Heres-Del-Valle, David & Niemeier, Deb, 2011. "CO2 emissions: Are land-use changes enough for California to reduce VMT? Specification of a two-part model with instrumental variables," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 150-161, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    community design; land use mix; street network; National Household Travel Survey; spatial kriging analysis; vehicle kilometers traveled;

    JEL classification:

    • R40 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Transportation Economics - - - General


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ris:jtralu:0079. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Arlene Mathison) or (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.