Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Earth Sciences

Committee Chair

Angela Antipova

Committee Member

Arleen Hill

Committee Member

Esra Ozdenerol

Committee Member

Hsiang Kung


There is insufficient evidence on how compactness affects auto ownership, travel distance, and congestion, affecting in turn commuting time. To address this gap, this study employed structural equation modeling (SEM) to account for both direct and indirect effects of compactness on commuting behavior. The objectives of this research are- (a) to assess compactness of U.S. urbanized areas using compactness/sprawl metrics; (b) to analyze commuting behavior using the American Community Survey (ACS) commuting data; (c) to find the impact of urban sprawl on commuting behavior considering the mediation effect of vehicle ownership, travel distance, and congestion. The study results help better understand the effect of compactness on commuting time controlling for the confounding variables. Additional outcomes of this research include determination of the strength and direction of impact of mediating variables on commuting time. The study findings would aid city planners and policymakers in developing long-term plans for sustainable and equitable transportation in urban areas.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest


Open Access