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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Using Structural Equations Modelling to Unravel the Influence of Land Use Patterns on Travel Behavior of Urban Adult Workers of Puget Sound Region


This paper addresses the relationship between travel behavior and land use patterns using a Structural Equations Modeling framework.

The proposed model structure in this paper is by design heavily influenced by a model developed for Lisbon (1) to allow comparisons. In that paper the existence of  significant effects of land use patterns in travel behavior was found. The travel behavior variables included in the model are multidimensional and comprehend both short term, number of trips by mode and trip scheduling, and long term, home location, car and pass ownership, mobility decisions. The modeled land use variables measure the levels of urban intensity and density, diversity, both in terms of types of uses and the mix between jobs and inhabitants and the public transport supply levels,. The land use patterns are described both at the residence and employment zones.. 

In order to explicitly account for self selection bias the land use variables are explicitly modeled as functions of socioeconomic attributes of individuals and their households. The Seattle findings are presented and then compared them to the Lisbon findings. Many commonalities between the two environments were found but also many important differences. 

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