Urban land uses, socio-demographic attributes and commuting: A multilevel modeling approach


Studies on the interrelationship between land use and travel behavior are often at some aggregate geographic unit such as the census tract, traffic analysis zone (TAZ), or the zip code level, and results have been inconclusive. This paper uses a multi-level modeling approach to examine the combined effects of land use types and socio-demographics (including both individual and neighborhood attributes) on commuting. Data used in this research include the Baton Rouge Personal Transportation Survey (BRPTS) of individual households and the Census Transportation Planning Package (CTPP) at the TAZ level. Land uses include agricultural, commercial/office and residential of various densities. A localized job-housing balance ratio is computed to measure job accessibility and also to capture the degree of mixed land uses around each residential location, and its effect on commuting behavior is examined. Commuting is measured by both travel distance and time in order to capture the spatial separation of residence and workplace as well as road conditions. The results indicate that land use types are significant in explaining commuting time, and socio-demographic characteristics of both individuals and neighborhoods play an important role in shaping individuals' commuting behavior. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Publication Title

Applied Geography