Edited by Robin Hickman, Moshe Givoni, David Bonilla and David Banister
Chapter 12: How stable are preferences for neighbourhood type and design in residential moves?
Active discussions in land-use and transportation planning circles continue to revolve around three related dimensions of travel behavior, neighborhood design and preferences. The bulk of this literature clearly focuses on the strength and magnitude of correlations between neighborhood design and travel behavior; many literature reviews have been published (Badoe and Miller, 2000; Crane, 2000; Ewing and Cervero, 2010) and more appear each year focusing on different dimensions or contexts such as walkable environments or different measures of accessibility (van Wee, 2002; Saelens et al., 2003; Geurs and van Wee, 2004; Saelens and Handy, 2008; Transportation Research Board, 2009). An outstanding question arising from this research relates to the issue commonly referred to as “self-selection”. Attitudes and preferences for neighborhood design may influence travel more than the neighborhood design itself. In other words, showing correlations that people living in higher density/mixed-use developments walk more tells an incomplete story; it does not necessarily mean developing additional communities of this type will lead to more walking. Subsequently, an active body of literature aims to better understand the role of preferences. For almost a dozen years now, research has aimed to differentiate between the factors influencing one’s inclination to walk from their residential choice to live in neighborhoods that support walking.
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