Residential dissonance and mode choice

Md Kamruzzaman, Douglas Baker, Simon Washington, Gavin Turrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)


Residential dissonance refers to the mismatch in land-use patterns between individuals' preferred residential neighbourhood type and the type of neighbourhood in which they currently reside. Current knowledge regarding the impact of residential dissonance is limited to short-term travel behaviours in urban vs. suburban, and rural vs. urban areas. Although the prevailing view is that dissonants adjust their orientation and lifestyle around their surrounding land use over time, empirical evidence is lacking to support this proposition. This research identifies both short-term mode choice behaviour and medium-term mode shift behaviour of dissonants in transit oriented development (TODs) vs. non-TOD areas in Brisbane, Australia. Natural groupings of neighbourhood profiles (e.g. residential density, land use diversity, intersection density, cul-de-sac density, and public transport accessibility levels) of 3957 individuals were identified as living either in a TOD (510 individuals) or non-TOD (3447 individuals) areas in Brisbane using the TwoStep cluster analysis technique. Levels of dissonance were measured based on a factor analysis of 16 items representing the travel attitudes/preferences of individuals. Two multinomial logistic (MNL) regression models were estimated to understand mode choice behaviour of (1) TOD dissonants, and (2) non-TOD dissonants in 2009, controlling for socio-demographics and environmental characteristics. Two additional MNL regression models were estimated to investigate mode shift behaviour of (3) TOD dissonants, and (4) non-TOD dissonants between 2009 and 2011, also controlling for socio-demographic, changes in socio-demographic, and built environmental factors. The findings suggest that travel preference is relatively more influential in transport mode choice decisions compared with built environment features. Little behavioural evidence was found to support the adjustment of a dissonant orientation toward a particular land use feature and mode accessibility they represent (e.g. a modal shift to greater use of the car for non-TOD dissonants). TOD policies should focus on reducing the level of dissonance in TODs in order to enhance transit ridership.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-28
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Transport Geography
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Residential dissonance
  • Residential self-selection
  • Transit oriented development
  • Travel behaviour change

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