Edited by Robin Hickman, Moshe Givoni, David Bonilla and David Banister
Chapter 10: The effects of neighbourhood type and self-selection on driving: a case study of Northern California
Urban sprawl has been widely criticized for causing auto-dependence and its negative consequences on modern society: climate change, air pollution and oil reliance. Recently, federal, state and local governments in the US have been promoting a variety of land-use and transportation policies to counter to the impacts of sprawl development. In 2008, the California Senate passed Bill 375 to reduce driving and greenhouse gases through regional sustainable community strategies; the 2009 US HUD-DOT-EPA Interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities recommended directing federal funding toward existing communities – through strategies like transit-oriented, mixed-use development and land recycling, and providing more transportation choices; in 2010, Portland adopted its 2030 Bicycle Plan to invest $613 million on bike infrastructure in the next 20 years. An open question emerges: if we develop metropolitan areas in an alternative way, will people reduce their driving and increase their use of transit and non-motorized transportation? That is, is there a form of neighbourhood development that makes urban development more sustainable than sprawl development? Many studies have explored the relationships between the built environment and travel behaviour since the 1990s. Collectively, these studies have found that residents living in traditional neighbourhoods (characterized as high density, mixed land uses, high street connectivity and so on) tend to drive less and walk more than suburbanites (Ewing and Cervero, 2001, 2010; Crane, 2000; Frank and Engelke, 2001).
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