Analyzing the Effect of Land Use Policies on Travel Behavior Using Activity-based Modeling



Analyzing the Effect of Land Use Policies on Travel Behavior Using Activity-based Modeling

Authors

Yoram Shiftan, Technion, IL

Description

The purpose of this paper is to show the advantages and potential of activity-based models to better analyze the effect of land-use policies on travel behavior

Abstract

Land use policies are often suggested as means to mitigate transportation problems and some regions have tried to implement policies such as transit oriented developments, mixed land use, different concentrations schemes and various forms of urban design. These policies are motivated by the assumption, also supported by numerous studies that residents of neighborhoods with a higher density, mixed land-use, transit accessibility, and pedestrian friendliness drive less than residents of neighborhoods with lower levels of these characteristics. However, our understanding of the effects of the various land use polices on travel behavior is limited and there are also questions of self selectivity: do land use policies affect travel behavior or do people with different travel behavior preferences select different types of neighborhood to live in.
Advance in the study of travel behavior have led to the development of activity-based models that treat travel as being derived from the demand for personal activities. Travel choices, therefore, become part of a broader activity scheduling process based on modeling the demand for activities rather than merely trips. The explicit modeling of activities and the consequent tours and trips enables a more credible analysis of response to policies and their effect on traffic and air quality and open up new opportunities to improve our understanding of the effect of land-use policies on travel behavior. Some studies have already used this approach to analyze various transport policies. However, relatively few studies have applied the activity-based framework to investigate the relationships between urban forms and travel. The theoretical framework of activity based models starts with urban and land use development as input but there is a need to translate this framework to analyze specific land use policies.
The purpose of this paper is to show the advantages and potential of activity-based models to better analyze the effect of land-use policies on travel behavior. Furthermore, improvements are suggested that will extend the general framework to achieve a better understanding of travelers? responses to various land-use policies. The paper first discusses the development of activity-based models and their limited current use in analyzing land-use policies. It then extends the framework and proposes improvements. Finally it presents a case study based on the Portland, Oregon activity-based model combined with a stated-preference residential choice model. A package of land use policies, including improved land use, school quality, safety and transit service in the city centre is introduced, and its effect on household redistribution and regional travel is tested. Another example is currently being developed using some Israeli data and a new activity-based model under development for Tel-Aviv.

Publisher

Association for European Transport