Causal effects of built environment characteristics on travel behaviour: A longitudinal approach

Paul van de Coevering, Kees Maat, Maarten Kroesen, Bert van Wee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)
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The influence of the built environment on travel behaviour and the role of intervening variables such as socio-demographics and travel-related attitudes have long been debated in the literature. To date, most empirical studies have applied cross-sectional designs to investigate their bidirectional relationships. However, these designs provide limited evidence for causality. This study represents one of the first attempts to employ a longitudinal design on these relationships. We applied cross lagged panel structural equation models to a two-wave longitudinal dataset to assess the directions and strengths of the relationships between the built environment, travel behaviour and travel-related attitudes. Results show that the residential built environment has a small but significant influence on car use and travel attitudes. In addition, the built environment influenced travel-related attitudes indicating that people tend to adjust their attitudes to their built environment. This provides some support for land use policies that aim to influence travel behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)674-697
JournalEuropean Journal of Transport and Infrastructure Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Attitudes
  • Built environment
  • Causality
  • Longitudinal
  • Residential self-selection
  • Travel behavior


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