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The impacts of ict on leisure activities and travel: A conceptual exploration

  • Author(s): Mokhtarian, Patricia L
  • Salomon, Ilan
  • Handy, Susan L
  • et al.
Abstract

This paper offers a conceptual exploration of the potential impacts of ICTs on leisure activities and the associated travel. We start by discussing what leisure is and is not. We point out that the boundaries between leisure, mandatory, and maintenance activities are permeable, for three reasons: the multi-attribute nature of a single activity, the sequential interleaving of activity fragments, and the simultaneous conduct of multiple activities (multitasking). We then discuss four kinds of ways by which ICT can affect leisure activities and travel: the replacement of a traditional activity with an ICT counterpart, the generation of new ICT activities (that may displace other activities), the ICT-enabled reallocation of time to other activities, and ICT as a facilitator of leisure activities. We suggest 13 dimensions of leisure activities that are especially relevant to the issue of ICT impacts: location (in)dependence, mobility-based versus stationary, time (in)dependence, planning horizon, temporal structure and fragmentation, possible multitasking, solitary versus social activity, active versus passive participation, physical versus mental, equipment/media (in)dependence, informal versus formal arrangements required, motivation, and cost. The primary impact of ICT on leisure is to expand an individual's choice set; however whether or not the new options will be chosen depends on the attributes of the activity (such as the 13 identified dimensions), as well as those of the individual. The potential transportation impacts when the new options are chosen are ambiguous.

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