Commuting patterns and urban form: Evidence from Poland

Commuting patterns, and travel demand in general, hinge on a number of factors, including various socioeconomic features of individuals and households as well as the characteristics of urban form (built environment). This paper revolves around the latter group of contributory factors and explores the effect of the urban spatial structure and transport supply on commuting patterns in Poland, a former socialist country that has undergone deep economic, social and spatial changes in the last quarter of a century. The authors address the following question: what is the effect of the spatial structure of the local labour market on commuting patterns (the distance-decay gradient of commuting flows)? They describe local labour markets (LLMs) by the area and shape of the region,the level of urbanisation, the degree of polycentricity, the evenness of the distribution of jobs and housing and the road network. Their research relies on statistical information on municipalities (gminas), and on municipality-to-municipality commuting flow data from the Central Statistical Office (CSO). The novelty of the authors' paper lies in the fact that they use different and easy to interpret measures of functional and morphological polycentricity to fully grasp the effect of this dimension of urban form on travel commuting patterns. Moreover, contrary to the majority of existing studies, their study focuses on a less urbanised region with a relatively low level of road infrastructure (by European standards), which, assuming the relationship between urban form and commuting is context-sensitive, provides a chance to gain novel in-sights. The outcome of their work supports the notion that more polycentric and more urbanised LLMs have a higher proportion of short distance commutes. But unlike many previous studies, They do not find any significant relationship between the jobs-housing balance and commuting patterns. Finally, contrary to the results from Western Europe and North America, the authors find that the supply of road infrastructure and the size of land area are associated with a steeper distance-decay gradient (shorter commutes).


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  • Accession Number: 01683914
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 26 2018 3:06PM