IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Suburbanisation of employment means less sustainable travel? - The effects of policy location on commuters' travel patterns in the Stavanger region, Norway

Listed author(s):
  • Ari Tarigan


  • Stian Bayer
  • Christin Berg
Registered author(s):

    The growth and expansion of commercial locations followed by urban sprawl and significant change in demographic and socio-demographic characteristics of urban resident have taken place in the Stavanger region, Norway - partly due to its role as 'the Petroleum Capital of Norway'. Most notable evidence are: (1) suburbanisation of employment due to the rapid development of the petroleum-based businesses, manufacturing companies and service enterprises in the region and its satellite region; (2) increased labour force participation, in particular by skilled workers and women; (3) growing proportion of immigration from inter-region of Norway as well as international, responding its dynamic labour market; (4) general increases in income; (5) changing population structure caused by significant percentage of young professional individuals; (6) and also great proportion of auto ownership and auto dependency. For example, the local authority has developed the industrial parks, known as the Forus area which is situated in the south-west of the Stavanger city centre. Currently, there are more than 1200 businesses located in this area and this provides opportunities for more than 24000 professionals, indicating that its employment density is extremely high. This, however, means that auto dependency of the Forus area-based commuters has reached by nearly 82 % of total mode choices used. The effects of industrialisation in suburbs on travel behavior are complex and not clear yet. One argues that suburbanisation of employment is inevitable in recent era in order to provide better accessibility of jobs and to reduce attractiveness of city centre in the same time. Therefore, how local authority connects their residents and workplaces and to break dependency on auto is the issue since commuters tend to use auto. This case is more obvious in particular if the quality of installed transport infrastructure is relatively poor. Whiles, others recommend jobs-housing balance supported by mixed-zone policy to control negative impacts of workplace sprawl. Allowing urbanisation of employment alone without considering travel distance balance leads to a less sustainable travel patterns because the higher the commuting distance the much more likely individuals tend to be depending on auto. This study is an attempt to determine the effects of suburbanisation of employment on commuting travel patterns. The questions raised are: Does suburbanisation of employment lead to an increase of commuting travel time (and distance), auto use, energy consumption, and the spatial extension of their action space? If so, who still have more sustainable commuting travel patterns? Who don't? Also, how sustainable is their commuting travel patterns compared to other groups of commuter in the region? Which factors tend influence auto dependency? The focus of this study is on commuters. Results of travel behaviour survey in the Stavanger area, conducted in summer 2008, are examined in this study to evaluate the effects of suburbanisation of employment on travel. The study depicts the commuters in the Forus area as the sample size and compares its behavioural patterns with the city centre-based commuters of the Stavanger region and the other commuters who reside in between the city centre and the Forus area. A set of multivariate analyses and other statistical tools are utilised to examine at the individual level, with auto ownership, public transport use, travel distance and travel time performed as its dependent variables. Using the results it is shown who tends to commute longer and who don't. Also factors that influence auto dependency are captured and the characteristics of the sustainable commuters are identified. Evaluating this policy location is necessary as a study reported that it may be pragmatically and politically more acceptable to change policies in primarily employment areas, because the users of those areas may have fewer complaints about more intense development than residential users typically do. In addition, the resultant model system is applied in a scenario analysis to forecast possible changes in future auto travel that will follow hypothetical spatial changes in the Stavanger region.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by European Regional Science Association in its series ERSA conference papers with number ersa10p1648.

    in new window

    Date of creation: Sep 2011
    Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa10p1648
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Welthandelsplatz 1, 1020 Vienna, Austria

    Web page:

    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.:

    in new window

    1. Murphy, Enda, 2009. "Excess commuting and modal choice," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 43(8), pages 735-743, October.
    2. Maat, Kees & Timmermans, Harry J.P., 2009. "Influence of the residential and work environment on car use in dual-earner households," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 43(7), pages 654-664, August.
    3. D Banister & S Watson & C Wood, 1997. "Sustainable cities: transport, energy, and urban form," Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 24(1), pages 125-143, January.
    4. Cervero, Robert, 1996. "Mixed land-uses and commuting: Evidence from the American Housing Survey," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 361-377, September.
    5. van Ommeren, Jos & Rietveld, Piet & Nijkamp, Peter, 1999. "Job Moving, Residential Moving, and Commuting: A Search Perspective," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 230-253, September.
    6. Sanchez, Thomas W., 2008. "Poverty, policy, and public transportation," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 42(5), pages 833-841, June.
    7. van Wee, Bert & van Der Hoorn, Toon, 1996. "Employment location as an instrument of transport policy in the Netherlands : Fundamentals, instruments and effectiveness," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 81-89, July.
    8. Aguiléra, Anne & Wenglenski, Sandrine & Proulhac, Laurent, 2009. "Employment suburbanisation, reverse commuting and travel behaviour by residents of the central city in the Paris metropolitan area," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 43(7), pages 685-691, August.
    9. Robin Dubin, 1991. "Commuting Patterns and Firm Decentralization," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 67(1), pages 15-29.
    10. Susilo, Yusak O. & Kitamura, Ryuichi, 2008. "Structural changes in commuters' daily travel: The case of auto and transit commuters in the Osaka metropolitan area of Japan, 1980-2000," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 95-115, January.
    11. Genevieve Giuliano & Kenneth A. Small, 1993. "Is the Journey to Work Explained by Urban Structure?," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 30(9), pages 1485-1500, November.
    12. 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.
    13. Marshall, Stephen & Banister, David, 2000. "Travel reduction strategies: intentions and outcomes," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 321-338, June.
    14. David Levinson & Ajay Kumar, 1994. "The Rational Locator: Why Travel Times Have Remained Stable," Working Papers 199402, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.
    15. Kang‐Rae Ma & David Banister, 2006. "Excess Commuting: A Critical Review," Transport Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(6), pages 749-767, May.
    16. Giuliano, Genevieve & Dargay, Joyce, 2006. "Car ownership, travel and land use: a comparison of the US and Great Britain," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 106-124, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa10p1648. 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: (Gunther Maier)

    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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.