A Dynamic Analysis of the Built Environment-Travel Behavior Relationship Using Three Activity-Travel Surveys in the Austin, Texas Region

Term Start:

September 1, 2023

Term End:

May 31, 2025




Activity-Travel Surveys, Built Environment, Travel Behavior

Thrust Area(s):

Equity and Understanding User Needs

University Lead:

The University of Texas at Austin


Ming Zhang

The relationship between the built environment (BE) and travel behavior (TB) has long interested scholars and practitioners in transportation, urban planning and design, health, and other fields. The proposed research aims to advance knowledge of the BE-TB relationship by taking a dynamic analysis approach. The study will pool three activity-travel surveys (1998, 2007, and 2017) in Austin, TX, and analyze how variations and changes in TB revealed in the surveys relate to BE variations and changes in the timeframe corresponding to the surveys. The three activity-travel surveys do not provide longitudinal observations, strictly speaking, since the sampled travelers and households differ between surveys. The 20-year timeframe, however, enables us to investigate 1) TB changes over time by groups, which can be defined by socioeconomic, demographic, and geospatial (e.g., neighborhoods) characteristics, and 2) changes in TB attributable to changes in BE. The proposed research is expected to gain new insights into the BE-TB connection and inform effective, BE-based planning and policy interventions to achieve broad goals of efficient and equitable transportation and sustainable cities and regions.

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