Dr. Petter Næss, prófessor við NMBU, Noregi flytur gestafyrirlestur undir heitinu How and why do residential and workplace location in metropolitan areas influence travel behavior? Evidence from recent research in Norwegian urban areas.
Based on evidence mainly from the Norwegian mixed-methods research project RESACTRA, supplemented with some material from another recent project (URBANEFF), the presentation illuminates how residential and workplace location, local-area density and other built environment characteristics around the dwelling or workplace influence different aspects of travel behavior. The studies generally show that the location of dwellings and workplaces relative to the center structure of the metropolitan area, and particularly the distance to the main city center, is more important than local-area built environment characteristics to travel behavior. Urban spatial structures influence travel behavior in interaction with time-geographical constraints and individuals’ transport rationales. The dominant rationales for location of activities imply that travel distances are influenced more by residential distance to the main city center than by its distance to local centers. The dominant rationales for travel mode choice encourage suburbanites and employees at suburban workplaces to choose car as their travel mode more frequently than inner-city dwellers and employees, with opposite effects for transit and non-motorized travel. Polycentric intra-metropolitan urban development is therefore less favorable than densification close to the main city center if the aim is to reduce travel distances, discourage car driving and promote public and non-motorized travel. The results provide strong support of Norwegian national policies of urban densification as a planning strategy to curb the growth in urban motoring. However, although the influences of urban structure on travel show many similarities across cities, there are also important differences reflecting variations in center structure (predominantly mono- or polycentric) and population size. The magnitude of the influences of various urban structural characteristics on travel behavior are thus highly context-dependent.
Dr. Petter Næss