Does a residential relocation enable satisfying travel?

Jonas De Vos, Kostas Mouratidis, Long Cheng, Md Kamruzzaman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Transport-related residential self-selection indicates that people try to live in a neighbourhood in line with their travel preferences and needs. Although studies have found that travel attitudes are mostly aligned with urban form characteristics of the residential location, no studies have explored whether people are actually able to travel in their preferred way after having relocated. In this study we analyse whether individuals’ travel patterns are consistent with their travel preferences following residential relocation and if this congruency affects their travel satisfaction. Results from 1650 recently relocated residents in the city of Ghent (Belgium) indicate that most respondents were able to change their travel behaviour in congruence with their travel attitudes. The study found that a decrease in travel duration, distance, car use, and public transport use, and an increase in walking and cycling increased travel satisfaction. This is particularly true when changes in travel behaviour interacted with travel attitudes. Results show that when walking and cycling levels change in line with travel attitudes, travel satisfaction increases strongly. However, the interaction between travel behaviour changes and travel attitudes does not always explain travel satisfaction (improvements). We found, for instance, that individuals with reduced travel durations, despite having a positive attitude towards travel in general, have high levels of travel satisfaction (improvements). The findings indicate that built environment interventions enabling a transport-related self-selection process have the potential to contribute to satisfying travel and thereby to improve subjective well-being of residents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-201
Number of pages14
JournalTransportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • Built environment
  • Residential relocation
  • Travel attitudes
  • Travel behaviour
  • Travel satisfaction

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