Edited by Robin Hickman, Moshe Givoni, David Bonilla and David Banister
Chapter 5: New household location and the commute to work: changes over time
The relationship between urban form and travel has been subject to a huge amount of research over the past three decades, perhaps representing one of the most intensively researched fields within urban planning. It is an attractive topic for policymakers – with the engaging possibility that shaping the built environment in a certain way, if this can be defined, will mean that our travel behaviours will be made more sustainable. The literature has developed from exploring simplistic relationships, such as density and travel, to a more sophisticated understanding of multiple and multi-directional influences, including various built environment features, socio-economic and attitudinal and cultural factors. The built environment ‘independent’ factors have been broken down into more detailed variables, such as the ‘3 Ds’ of density, diversity and design (Cervero and Kockelman, 1997); the ‘5 Ds’, with destination accessibility and distance to transit added (Ewing and Cervero, 2001); and even the ‘7 Ds’, with demand management and demographics added (Ewing and Cervero, 2010). The travel ‘dependent’ factors have been explored in terms of travel distance and time, mode share, and even composite indicators such as transport energy consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2). The overriding interest is to understand the most effective urban form(s) – in terms of new development, redevelopment and retrofit – which may help achieve greater sustainability in transport.
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