Modelling Car Ownership in Urban Areas

A Case Study of Hamilton, Canada

Published in: Journal of transport geography, v. 16, no. 1, Jan. 2008, p. 42-54

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2008

by Dimitris Potoglou, Pavlos S. Kanaroglou

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This paper examines the influence of family structure, socio-economic characteristics and accessibility at the place of residence on the number of cars owned by a household. Special attention is given to the neighbourhood characteristics, which are quantified by introducing several measures of neighbourhood proximity to out-of-home amenities and land-use derived from fine-grained spatial data with the help of GIS. For the purposes of our analyses, we used micro-level data obtained through a recent Internet-survey that was conducted in the Census Metropolitan Area of Hamilton, Canada. We find that household life-cycle stage, socio-economic factors, mixed density at the traffic analysis zone level and land-use diversity within walking distance from the place of residence influence households' decision on how many vehicles to own. The results can be used to advise the design of planning policies aiming at controlling the effects of excessive car ownership and mobility.

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