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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Investigating the Impact of Sense of Place on Travel Behavior Using an Intercept Survey Methodology


Current trends in transportation and urban planning are moving in the direction of integrated land use and transportation models. These models require an understanding and accurate representation of the propensity of a location to host an activity, and thus generate a need for travel. Within this necessity to represent activity propensity comes an often-neglected area of human-spatial interaction—the attractiveness of a location. The propensity of an individual to travel to a specific location is highly subjective, and can vary from person to person and develop with exposure to the location, an attribute, which is said to be experiential in nature. This experiential aspect of place has been termed by those in geography and environmental psychology as “sense of place”. An intercept survey was thus designed to attempt to measure this sense of place and gain an understanding of how this experiential aspect of place differs among people and between locations. A series of statistical analyses of the data explore differences that exist in sense of place attitudes, as well as impacts of sense of place on travel behavior. Lastly, extensions of this pilot research project are described and future applications are discussed.

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