, Volume 34, Issue 5, pp 589–609 | Cite as

The influence of built environment to the trends in commuting journeys in the Netherlands

  • Yusak O. Susilo
  • Kees Maat


In this paper we describe commuting trends in the Netherlands in the past decade and examine the influence of urban form and travel accessibility on commuting journeys over time on the basis of data from the Dutch National Travel Survey. Exploratory analysis is performed to identify changes in commuting participation, departure time, commuting time, commuting distance and the modal split. Regression analysis and choice models are used to examine the influence of the built environment on commuting parameters over time. The results indicate that urban form has consistently influenced the parameters of commuting journey in the Netherlands in the last 10 years. However, the trend of the influence is unique for each commuting model. Some influences have become less significant in the last decade and some have become stronger.


Commuting behaviour Long-term analysis Dutch National Travel Survey Urban form 



The authors wish to thank Dominic Stead and anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments on an earlier version of this paper.


  1. Banister, D.: Reducing the need to travel. Environ. Plann. B: Plann. Design 24, 437–449 (1997)Google Scholar
  2. Bollote, L.: Transport in Paris and the Ile de France. Built Environ. 17, 160–171 (1991)Google Scholar
  3. Cervero R., Kockelman, K.: Travel demand and the 3Ds: density, diversity and design. Transport. Res. D 2, 199–219 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cervero, R.: Jobs-housing balance revisited: trends and impacts in the San Francisco Bay Area. J. Am. Plann. Assoc. 62, 492–511 (1996)Google Scholar
  5. Cervero, R., Landis, J.: Suburbanization of jobs and the journey to work: a submarket analysis of commuting in the San Francisco Bay Area. J. Adv. Transport. 25, 275–297 (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cervero, R., Wu, K.L.: Sub-centering and commuting: evidence from the San Francisco Bay Area. Urban Stud. 35, 1059–1076 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cohen, G.S., Kocis, M.A.: Components of change in urban travel. Transport. Res. Rec. 775, 42–47 (1980)Google Scholar
  8. Dargay, J., Hanly, M.: Volatility of car ownership, commuting mode and time in the UK. Paper presented at the 10th World Conference on Transport Research, Istanbul, Turkey, July (2004)Google Scholar
  9. Evert, H. van, Moritz, G.: The new Dutch travel survey. Paper presented at the 9th International Association for Travel Behavior Conference, Queensland, Australia, July (2000)Google Scholar
  10. Ewing R.: Beyond density, mode choice, and single-purpose trips. Transport. Q. 49, 15–24 (1995)Google Scholar
  11. Ewing, R.: Is Los Angeles-style sprawl desirable? J. Am. Plann. Assoc. 63, 107–126 (1997)Google Scholar
  12. Frank, L.D., Pivo, G.: Impacts of mixed use and density on utilitzation of three modes of travel: single-occupant vehicle, transit and walking. Transport. Res. Rec. 1466, 44–52 (1994)Google Scholar
  13. Giuliano, G., Small, K.A.: Is the journey to work explained by urban structure? Urban Stud. 30, 1485–1500 (1993)Google Scholar
  14. Gordon, P., Richardson, H.W.: Are compact cities a desirable planning goal? J. Am. Plann. Assoc. 63, 95–106 (1997)Google Scholar
  15. Gordon, P., Wong, H.L.: The cost of urban sprawl: some new evidence. Environ. Plann. A 17, 661–666 (1985)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hanson, S.: Spatial diversification and multipurpose travel: implications for choice theory. Geogr. Anal. 12, 245–257 (1980)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Herz, R.: Stability, variability and flexibility in everyday behaviour. In: Carpenter, S., Jones, P. (eds.) Recent Advances in Travel Demand Analysis. Gower Publishing, Aldershot, England, pp. 385–400 (1983)Google Scholar
  18. Kenworthy, J.R., Laube, F.B.: Patterns of automobile dependence in cities: an international overview of key physical and economic dimensions with some implications for urban policy. Transport. Res. A 33, 691–723 (1999)Google Scholar
  19. Kitamura, R.: An evaluation of activity-based travel analysis. Transportation 15, 9–34 (1988)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kitamura, R., Susilo, Y.O.: Does a grande latte really stir up gridlock? stops in commute journeys and incremental travel. Transport. Res. Rec. 1985, 198–206 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kitamura, R., Susilo, Y.O., Fukui, K., Murakami, J., Kishino, K.: The invariants of travel behavior: the case of Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe metropolitan area of Japan, 1970–2000. Paper presented at the 10th Conference of the International Association for Travel Behaviour Research, Lucerne, August (2003)Google Scholar
  22. Kollo, H.P.H., Purvis, C.L.: Changes in regional travel characteristics in the San Francisco Bay Area: 1960–1981. Transport. Res. Rec. 987, 57–66 (1984)Google Scholar
  23. Levinson, D.M., Kumar, A.: The rational locator: why travel times have remained stable. J. Am. Plann. Assoc. 60, 319–331 (1994)Google Scholar
  24. Maat, K., van Wee B., Stead, D.: Land use and travel behaviour: expected effects from the perspective of utility theory and activity-based theories. Environ. Plann. B 32, 33–46 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. McGuckin, N., Zmud, J., Nakamoto, Y.: Trip-chaining trends in the United States: understanding travel behavior for policy making. Transport. Res. Rec. 1917, 199–204 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Meurs H., Haaijer R.: Spatial structure and mobility. Transport. Res. D 6, 429–446 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Næss P.: Accessibility, activity participation and location of activities: exploring the links between residential location and travel behaviour. Urban Stud. 43, 627–652 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Næss P., Sangberg S.L.: Workplace location, modal split and energy use for commuting trips. Urban Stud. 33, 557–580 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Newman, P.W.G., Kenworthy, J.R.: Gasoline consumption and cities. A comparison of US cities in a global survey. J. Am. Plann. Assoc. 55, 24–36 (1989)Google Scholar
  30. OECD.: OECD in Figure 2006–2007, OECD Observer 2006/Supplement 1 (2007)Google Scholar
  31. Orfeil, J.P., Bovy P.: European mobility is different: a global perspective. In: Salomon, I., Bovy, P., Orfeuil, J.P. (eds.) A billion trips a day: tradition and transition in European travel patterns. Kluwer, Dordrecht pp. 13–20 (1993)Google Scholar
  32. Pas, E.I.: The effect of selected sociodemographic characteristics on daily travel-activity behavior. Environ. Plann. A 16, 571–581 (1984)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Roberts, R.A.: Analysis of demographic trends and travel patterns: implications for the future of the Portland transit market. Transport. Res. Rec. 1067, 1–8 (1986)Google Scholar
  34. Schwanen, T., Dieleman, F.M., Dijst, M.: Travel behaviour in Dutch monocentric and polycentric urban systems. J. Transp. Geogr. 9, 173–186 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Schwanen, T., Dieleman, F.M., Dijst, M.: A microlevel analysis of residential context and travel time. Environ. Plann. A 34, 1487–1507 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Schwanen, T., Dieleman, F.M., Dijst, M.: Car use in Netherlands daily urban systems: does polycentrism result in lower commute time? Urban Stud. 24, 410–430 (2003)Google Scholar
  37. Snellen, D., Hilbers, H., Hendriks, A.: Nieuwbouw in beweging; Een analyse van het ruimtelijk mobiliteitsbeleid van Vinex (New housing developments on the go; An analysis of the Vinex spatial mobility policy). Ruimtelijk Planbureau, Rotterdam: NAi Uitgevers (2005)Google Scholar
  38. Stead, D.: Relationships between land use, socio economic factors, and travel patterns in Britain. Environ. Plann. B 28, 499–528 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Susilo, Y.O., Kitamura, R.: Structural changes in commuters’ daily travel: the case of auto and transit commuters in the Osaka metropolitan area of Japan, 1980 through 2000, submitted to Transport. Res. A (2006)Google Scholar
  40. Timmermans, H., van der Waerden P., Alves, M., Polak, J., Ellis, S., Harvey, A.S., Kurose, S., Zandee, R.: Spatial context and the complexity of daily travel patterns: an international comparison. J. Transp. Geogr. 11, 37–46 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Van Beek, P., Kalfs, N., Blom, U.: Gender differences in activities and mobility in the Netherlands, 1975 to 1990. Transport. Res. Rec. 1607, 134–138 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Van der Laan, L.: Changing urban systems: an empirical analysis at two spatial levels. Reg. Stud. 32, 235–247 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.OTB Research Institute for Housing, Urban and Mobility StudiesDelft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations