Spatial Variations in Immigrant-Transportation Relationships and Implications on Urban Planning

Authors: S M Rafael Harun*, University of Waterloo
Topics: Urban Geography, Urban and Regional Planning, Transportation Geography
Keywords: Immigrant settlement; Immigrant Transportation; Urban Planning; Canada
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 4:40 PM / 5:55 PM
Room: Virtual 19
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Previous research on immigrants’ transportation pattern has anonymously agreed on the higher transit dependency among the immigrants compared to non-immigrants in urban areas. However, fewer studies have investigated the effects of immigrants’ spatial settlement patterns on their choice of commuting modes. Unlike the immigrants from earlier years who predominantly settled in the inner city, contemporary immigrants are congregating in the suburbs in distinct geographic locations. It is well known that suburbs offer limited transportation options because their low-density morphology is ill-suited for transit developments. There is limited understanding of whether the “immigrant effect” detected on commuting modes in earlier studies is still valid as immigrants opt for suburban residential locations. By investigating the immigrants of the Toronto metropolitan region in Canada, this study explores the transportation implications of the changing immigrant settlement pattern. Specifically, using spatially explicit regression models, it explores whether the immigrant-transportation relationship changes across distinct metropolitan zones of Toronto. The study also associates the revealed relationships with current urban planning approaches. The study finds inter-metropolitan zone variations in the travel patterns of immigrants, and also detects discordance among immigrants’ spatial settlement and their transportation patterns, and existing urban planning approaches.

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