Do Suburban and Traditional Neighborhood Residents Want Different Things? Evidence on Neighborhood Satisfaction and Travel Behavior

This report explores which features are important for residents’ satisfaction with their neighborhoods. It compares how residents experience conventional suburban neighborhoods versus how they experience the type of traditional neighborhood from which new urbanist ideals derive. It presents modeling results on the determinants of neighborhood satisfaction in each neighborhood type. It also examines to what degree residential neighborhoods causally determine travel choices. Many researchers have documented that auto dependence is associated with sprawling development patterns, and have pointed to traditional neighborhood designs as a means of facilitating more transit use and active travel, but it is unclear to what extent the built environment shapes travel patterns. Research results indicate that in New Urbanist developments, of people who choose to live there rather than in suburban neighborhoods, residents who do not like to drive will not drive as often, and residents who do like to drive will still drive, but not as many miles for the average trip (presumably because destinations are closer). In addition, New Urbanist developments will not make people walk who do not like to walk, but those with moderate walking preferences will walk more.


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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01147389
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: UC Berkeley Transportation Library
  • Report/Paper Numbers: UCD-ITS-RR-06-10
  • Files: BTRIS, TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 14 2009 7:07PM