Varying influences of the built environment on household travel in 15 diverse regions of the United States

Reid Ewing, Guang Tian, JP Goates, Ming Zhang, Michael J Greenwald, Alex Joyce, John Kircher, William Greene

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147 Citations (Scopus)


This study pools household travel and built environment data from 15 diverse US regions to produce travel models with more external validity than any to date. It uses a large number of consistently defined built environmental variables to predict five household travel outcomes – car trips, walk trips, bike trips, transit trips and vehicle miles travelled (VMT). It employs multilevel modelling to account for the dependence of households in the same region on shared regional characteristics and estimates ‘hurdle’ models to account for the excess number of zero values in the distributions of dependent variables such as household transit trips. It tests built environment variables for three different buffer widths around household locations to see which scale best explains travel behaviour. The resulting models are appropriate for post-processing outputs of conventional travel demand models, and for sketch planning applications in traffic impact analysis, climate action planning and health impact assessment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2330-2348
Number of pages19
JournalUrban Studies
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • D variables
  • Envision Tomorrow software
  • household travel
  • hurdle models
  • multilevel modelling
  • walk and bike trip generation

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