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July 1, 2022

An Empirical Analysis of the Influence of Urban Form on Household Travel and Energy Consumption

Liu, Chao; Shen, Qing. (2011). An Empirical Analysis of the Influence of Urban Form on Household Travel and Energy Consumption. Computers, Environment & Urban Systems, 35(5), 347 – 357.

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Using the 2001 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) data, this paper empirically examines the effects of urban land use characteristics on household travel and transportation energy consumption in the Baltimore metropolitan area. The results of regression analysis show that different built environment measures lead to substantially different findings regarding the importance of urban form in influencing travel behavior. Among the built environment variables used in the analysis, accessibility provides much more explanatory power than density, design and diversity measures. Moreover, this study explores approaches to modeling the connection between urban form and household transportation energy consumption. Applying Structural Equation Models (SEMs), we found that urban form does not have a direct effect either on VMT or on vehicle energy consumption. The indirect effect, however, is significant and negative, which suggests that urban form affects household travel and energy consumption through other channels. In addition, household socio-economic characteristics, such as gender and number of vehicles, and vehicle characteristics also show significant relationships between VMT and energy consumption. This empirical effort helps us understand the major data and methodology challenges. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Urban Planning; Households; Travel; Energy Consumption; Empirical Research; Transportation; Metropolitan Areas; Climate Change; National Household Travel Survey (nhts); Usage; Environment; Behavior; Holdings; Impact