The connection of urban form and travel behaviour: a geo-spatial approach to measuring success of transit oriented developments using activity spaces

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis



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[Truncated] A renewed interest in public transport, and particularly rail, has sparked a renaissance of Transit Oriented Development (TOD), with the aim of creating more liveable urban environments and fostering more sustainable travel behaviour. But without in-depth knowledge of the complex interactions between urban form, human activities and travel behaviour, the risk of mismatched urban planning outcomes, failing to adequately address human needs and desires, appears obvious. Hence, a debate on the relative roles of built environment and personal preferences and attitudes in shaping travel behaviour has been ongoing; however, the related empirical and theoretical research has often remained inconclusive in its findings. This research further adds to the discourse on the associations between different TOD opportunities and households’ travel behaviour. There are a number of contributions that this research is making: 1) it compares various geometries and highlights the benefits of kernel density as the most appropriate spatial tool for Activity Spaces for a one-day travel diary; 2) through a data enrichment methodology, it reveals the potential for GPS methods to enhance the Activity Space measures; 3) it analyses changes in Activity Spaces as a result of changes in urban form and development of TODs; 4) it evaluates in a structural equation model the connections between TODs and travel behaviour after accounting for household preferences and self-selection; and 5) it validates findings of the multivariate model with an Artificial Neural Network for enhanced credibility and confidence in the findings. These contributions are explained briefly in the following paragraphs.
After investigating the potential of Activity Space Analysis and adopting the concept as a central research element for the behavioural analysis of activity-travel patterns, Activity Space analysis was systematically examined in terms of methodology, visualisation, and practical application and subsequently deployed to evaluate urban form implications on household travel behaviour, with the aim to measure TOD success. The examination of a new public transport railway line, crossing the southern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia (WA), along a 72km long network spine, provided a real world scenario for measuring realised Activity Spaces and validation of the holistic modelling approach developed for this research.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
StateUnpublished - 2015

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