Publication Detail

The Role of Attitudes toward Travel and Land Use in Residential Location Behavior: Some Empirical Evidence from the San Francisco Bay Area

UCD-ITS-RP-07-53

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Suggested Citation:
Schwanen, Tim and Patricia L. Mokhtarian (2007) The Role of Attitudes toward Travel and Land Use in Residential Location Behavior: Some Empirical Evidence from the San Francisco Bay Area. Housing Policy Debate 18 (1), 171 - 207

Two issues have recently attracted increasing attention in the literature on New Urbanist-type, higher-density, mixed-use neighborhoods: whether there is a direct causal link between the characteristics of the built environment and personal travel behavior and what kind of people want to live in New Urbanist developments. We apply logit modeling to data from the San Francisco Bay Area to analyze how predispositions toward travel and land use affect the choice of residential neighborhood type. We control for sociodemographics, personality/lifestyle, and auto availability.

The findings suggest that people opt for higher-density living in part because they are concerned about the environment and want to reduce their auto travel and because higher-density living makes it easier to benefit from commuting to work. Lower-density living is chosen in part because it is better geared to fast, flexible, and comfortable auto travel and makes it easier to display cars as status symbols.

Keywords: household location, mobility, neighborhood