Influences of the built environment on travel: A household-based perspective

Xiaodong Guan, Donggen Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


The linkage between travel and the built environment has received extensive research attention over the past decades. However, the existing studies normally evaluate the built environment effect on travel from an individual-based perspective, neglecting the influence of intra-household interactions. We argue that individuals’ travel behavior is derived from the allocation of household tasks and resources (e.g., household vehicles) and the travel behaviors of household members are interdependent. This suggests that the built environment may impact one member's travel behavior indirectly through its influence on others members’ travel choices. Thus, examining the travel impact of the built environment needs to consider intra-household interactions. This paper proposes to analyze the land use-travel relationship from a household perspective. We simultaneously examine the effects of the built environments of residential and work locations on married couples’ travel behaviors, considering the interrelations between their travels and controlling for both partners’ travel attitudes. The empirical study in Beijing, China indicates that the built environment effect on travel is different between partners. Two work environment factors influence the partners’ driving behaviors in opposite directions. Moreover, the wife's travel behavior mediates the association between the built environment and the husband's travel behavior. These findings highlight the importance of understanding the land use impact on travel behavior from the household perspective.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)710-724
Number of pages15
JournalTransportation Research, Part A: Policy and Practice
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation
  • Management Science and Operations Research

User-Defined Keywords

  • China
  • Intra-household interactions
  • The built environment
  • Travel attitude
  • Travel behavior


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