The influence of individuals’ environmental attitudes and urban design features on their travel patterns in sustainable neighborhoods in the UK

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Yusak O Susilo
Katie Williams
Morag Lindsay
Carol Dair

This paper explores the influence of individuals’ environmental attitudes and urban design features on travel behavior, including mode choice. It uses data from residents of 13 new neighborhood UK developments designed to support sustainable travel. It is found that almost all respondents were concerned about environmental issues, but their views did not necessarily ‘match’ their travel behavior. Individuals’ environmental concerns only had a strong relationship with walking within and near their neighborhood, but not with cycling or public transport use. Residents’ car availability reduced public transport trips, walking and cycling. The influence of urban design features on travel behaviors was mixed, higher incidences of walking in denser, mixed and more permeable developments were not found and nor did residents own fewer cars than the population as a whole. Residents did, however, make more sustainable commuting trips than the population in general. Sustainable modes of travel were related to urban design features including secured bike storage, high connectivity of the neighborhoods to the nearby area, natural surveillance, high quality public realm and traffic calming. Likewise the provision of facilities within and nearby the development encouraged high levels of walking.

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