Correlation or causality between the built environment and travel behavior? Evidence from Northern California
The sprawling patterns of land development common to metropolitan areas of the US have been blamed for high levels of automobile travel, and thus for air quality problems. In response, smart growth programsâ€” designed to counter sprawlâ€”have gained popularity in the US. Studies show that, all else equal, residents of neighborhoods with higher levels of density, land-use mix, transit accessibility, and pedestrian friendliness drive less than residents of neighborhoods with lower levels of these characteristics. These studies have shed little light, however, on the underlying direction of causalityâ€”in particular, whether neighborhood design influences travel behavior or whether travel preferences influence the choice of neighborhood. The evidence thus leaves a key question largely unanswered: if cities use land use policies to bring residents closer to destinations and provide viable alternatives to driving, will people drive less and thereby reduce emissions? Here a quasi-longitudinal design is used to investigate the relationship between neighborhood characteristics and travel behavior while taking into account the role of travel preferences and neighborhood preferences in explaining this relationship. A multivariate analysis of crosssectional data shows that differences in travel behavior between suburban and traditional neighborhoods are largely explained by attitudes. However, a quasi-longitudinal analysis of changes in travel behavior and changes in the built environment shows significant associations, even when attitudes have been accounted for, providing support for a causal relationship.
|Date of creation:||01 Jun 2005|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.escholarship.org/repec/uctc/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Patricia L. Mokhtarian & Michael N. Bagley, 2002.
"The impact of residential neighborhood type on travel behavior: A structural equations modeling approach,"
The Annals of Regional Science,
Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 279-297.
- Bagley, Michael N & Mokhtarian, Patricia L, 2001. "The impact of residential neighborhood type on travel behavior: A structural equations modeling approach," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt12q634n2, University of California Transportation Center.
- 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.
- Schwanen, Tim & Mokhtarian, Patricia L., 2005. "What Affects Commute Mode Choice: Neighborhood Physical Structure or Preferences Toward Neighborhoods?," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt4nq9r1c9, University of California Transportation Center.
- Susan Handy & Kelly Clifton, 2001. "Local shopping as a strategy for reducing automobile travel," Transportation, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 317-346, November.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cdl:uctcwp:qt5b76c5kg. 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: (Lisa Schiff)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.