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Urban Form and Travel Behaviour: Micro-level Household Attributes and Residential Context

Frans M. Dieleman, Martin Dijst and Guillaume Burghouwt
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Frans M. Dieleman: Urban Research Centre Utrecht, Faculty of Geographical Sciences, Utrecht University, PO Box 80115, 3508 TC Utrecht, The Netherlands, f.dieleman@geog. uu.nl
Martin Dijst: Urban Research Centre Utrecht, Faculty of Geographical Sciences, Utrecht University, PO Box 80115, 3508 TC Utrecht, The Netherlands, m.dijst@geoguu.nl
Guillaume Burghouwt: Urban Research Centre Utrecht, Faculty of Geographical Sciences, Utrecht University, PO Box 80115, 3508 TC Utrecht, The Netherlands, g.burghouwt@geog.uu.nl

Urban Studies, 2002, vol. 39, issue 3, 507-527

Abstract: Many countries now have policies to reduce distances travelled by private car and to favour the use of public transport, cycling and walking. The development of compact urban forms and the design of urban communities which favour walking are seen as particularly effective strategies for reducing car dependency. The factors which determine travel behaviour are not fully understood, so that effective policies influencing travel patterns are difficult to formulate. Apart from urban form and design, personal attributes and circumstances have an impact on modal choice and distances travelled. People with higher incomes are more likely to own and use a private car than low-income households. Families with children use cars more often than one-person households. The purpose of a trip-work, shopping and leisure—also influences travel mode and distance. We used the Netherlands National Travel Survey (OVG) to explore some of these relationships in more depth. The relative importance of personal attributes and the characteristics of residential environments as determinants of modal choice and travel distance were explored. Both sets of factors maintain a clear, strong relationship with travel behaviour in multivariate models of travel behaviour.

Date: 2002
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