The New Suburbs: Evolving Travel Behavior, the Built Environment, and Subway Investments in Mexico City

Dense and transit dependent suburbs have emerged as the fastest-growing form of human settlement in cities throughout Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Wealthier and at a later stage in its economic development than other developing-world metropolises, Mexico City is a compelling place to investigate the effects of rising incomes, increased car ownership, and transit investments in the dense, peripheral areas that have grown rapidly around informal transit in the past decades. This research considers: 1) how has the influence of the built environment on travel behavior changed as more households have moved into the suburbs and aggregate car use has increased?; 2) how much are the recent trends of increased suburbanization, rising car-ownership, and the proliferation of massive commercially built peripheral housing developments interrelated?; and, 3) how has the Metro’s Line B, one of the first and only suburban high-capacity transit investments, influenced local and regional travel behavior and land use? Findings indicate that the connection between land use and transportation in Mexico City is different from the connection in US and other rich-world cities. In particular, there is a physical disconnect between the generally suburban homes of transit users and the generally central location of high capacity public transit. Policies to reduce car use or increase accessibility for the poor in the short and medium term would do well to focus on improving the flexible, medium capacity informal transit around which the city’s dense and transit-dependent suburbs have grown and continue to grow.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This research was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, University Transportation Centers program. This is a dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in City and Regional Planning, University of California, Berkeley.
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of California, Berkeley

    Department of City and Regional Planning
    College of Environmental Design
    Berkeley, CA  United States  94720-1850

    University of California Transportation Center (UCTC)

    University of California, Berkeley
    2614 Dwight Way, 2nd Floor
    Berkeley, CA  United States  94720-1782

    California Department of Transportation

    Division of Research and Innovation
    1227 O Street, MS-83
    Sacramento, CA  United States  94273-0001

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Guerra, Erick Strom
  • Publication Date: 2013-5-1


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 131p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01494936
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: UC Berkeley Transportation Library
  • Report/Paper Numbers: UCTC-DISS-2013-01
  • Created Date: Sep 17 2013 4:23PM