Land Use and Mobility: a Synthesis of Findings and Policy Implications
SourceEuropean Journal of Transport and Infrastructure Research, 3, 2, (2003), pp. 219-233
Article / Letter to editor
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European Journal of Transport and Infrastructure Research
SubjectGovernance and Places
In this article we assess the contributions of the authors in this special issue. A conceptual model is used to identify the relevant components for the impact of land use on travel behavior and the relationships that should be addressed in empirical research on the effects of land use on travel behavior. The following conclusions are drawn. Firstly, very limited attention has been paid to the policy reasons behind why land-use policies could be used to influence travel behavior. These reasons include effects on the environment, such as noise nuisance and emissions, and safety and accessibility. Secondly, the indicators used for travel behavior are trip frequencies and travel distances by mode. Hardly any attention has been paid to other travel behavior indicators, such as route choice and time of day, which migh also have an impact on effects such as noise nuisance, concentrations of pollutants and safety. Thirdly, with respect to land use little attention has been paid to the decomposition of the total effects of land use on travel behavior into direct and indirect effects. Indirect effects of land use include effects via self-selection processes of individuals and households. Fourthly, the behavioral mechanisms and related theories for travel behavior have received almost no attention in the literature reviewed by the authors of the contributions. Fifthly, the use of more advanced techniques such as Structural Equations Models and Multi-level Regression may contribute to a better understanding of the impacts of land use on travel behavior. Sixthly, all the authors of the contributions conclude that land use has an impact on travel behavior, though only a modest one. Finally, several policy recommendations have been made, related to land-use policies that might have an impact on travel behavior. These recommendations mainly focus on mixed use and high-density designs, transit-oriented developments and transit, bike and pedestrian-oriented designs. A broader evaluation of all relevant effects of land-use alternatives is required for policy conclusions, however, including effects on costs, accessibility impacts, and consumer preferences with regard to residential, job and other locations.
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