Quantifying the impact of built environment types on duration of commute

Authors: Faizeh Hatami*, , Jean-Claude Thill, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Topics: Transportation Geography
Keywords: Typology of urban space, duration of commute, spatial Difference in Differences, spatial dependence
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 9:35 AM / 10:50 AM
Room: Virtual 29
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Commuting patterns are of great importance in studies of urban dynamics as work trips compose a significant portion of many individuals’ daily trips. Duration of these trips is relatively high in American urban areas due to urban sprawl being the dominant form of development. Urban spatial structure is expected to have impact on commuting duration. In this paper, in order to investigate this relationship, Mecklenburg County, NC, is divided into four types of urban spaces, namely exurban, suburban, urban and Transit-Oriented Development, as the first step. At this step, built environment types are detected using cluster analysis on built environment related variables. Second, the impact of these built environment types on commuting duration is investigated with a spatial Difference in Differences methodology. In spite of the large body of literature on the relationship between urban spatial structure and commuting duration, less attention has been paid to the spatial characteristic of this phenomenon. A majority of studies use aspatial methods. In order to bridge this gap, this study uses spatial Difference in Differences to account for the impact of spatial dependence. In addition to the built environment types, socioeconomic variables are included in the model as control variables.

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