A Stated Preference Experiment into the Trade-off Between Residential Location, Accessibility and Commuting
Ori Rubin, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, Femke Daalhuizen, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, Frank Van Dam, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency
We research to what extent employed individuals trade off between characteristics
of residential locations with a focus on residential environment, amenities,
accessibility and commuting time and mode.
Although urban regions are becoming increasingly popular, the preferences underlying this trend are unknown, and so are its implications for sustainable mobility. For example, it could be driven by a preference for shorter, less car reliant commute or by the abundance of urban amenities and jobs. We research to what extent employed individuals trade off between characteristics of residential locations with a focus on residential environment, amenities, accessibility and commuting time and mode. Understanding the relative weight of these dimensions among socio-demographic groups, such as households with or without children, is helpful for addressing future demand for housing and mobility.
In the beginning of 2017 we conduct a stated preference choice-based conjoint survey among a unique sample (N=800) of households in the Netherlands: participants of the Netherlands Mobility Panel (MPN) who since 2013 have annually recorded their travel data using a three-day travel diary. In our module we apply a choice experiment in which the participants are asked to sequentially choose between two residential locations with different attributes. The location attributes considered are: residential environment, level of amenities within walking distance, travel time to a railway station, travel time to a motorway interchange, travel time and mode of travel to the respondent’s work location and housing costs. Based on the responses we estimate the effect these attributes have on the utility of respondents. We then combine the results of our module with the MPN data to gain insight into (dis)similarities between stated preferences and behaviour.
Among employed individuals within the MPN 42% report having nearby shops were important in their location choice and for 22% access to public transport was important. However, these figures do not take into account any trade-off between location attributes.
Combining the stated preference questionnaire with 4-year panel data enables an extended analysis, which is expected to produce the following outcomes:
a. the effect of location characteristics on individual utility
b. the difference in these effects between different types of households
c. insight into how current residential location and commuting behaviour are related to the stated preferences and to what degree a dissonance exists
The results of the research will contribute to key policy discussions: first – is (sub)urbanization driven by physical neighbourhood characteristics or by the accessibility provided by locations? This is crucial for understanding current and future demand for housing. Secondly from a sustainable mobility perspective, the relative value respondents attach to local amenities, accessibility and commuting highlight how policy interventions that decrease car-reliance could be aligned with household preferences across socio-demographic groups.
Association for European Transport