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There have been numerous studies on the relationship between travel behavior and built environment over the last few decades. Prior studies have mostly focused on producing point estimates of model coefficients and ended up with a wide range of estimates for the built environment elasticity of travel behavior, including household Vehicle Miles Traveled. With few exceptions, previous studies use data from a single region or a small number of regions, and thus are not able to sufficiently investigate the regional variation in built environment elasticity.

On the other hand, a few papers have addressed the heterogeneity of elasticity among different population groups and neighborhood types, but so far have paid little attention to regional variation of elasticity. In his latest research project, Liming Wang uses the 2009 U.S. National Household Travel Survey and high resolution built environment measures in the Smart Location Database to investigate the Urbanized Area-level variation in the effect of built environment with multi-level mixed effect models. He found that there exist regional variations in the relationship between built environment and household VMT, and, as a matter of fact, there is no significant fixed effect of major built environment factors on VMT after considering urbanized area-level random effect. This presentation will conclude with a discussion of the implications of this research.

Biographical Information

Liming Wang is an assistant professor in PSU's Toulan School of Urban Studies & Planning. He teaches courses in Travel Demand Modeling, Transportation and Land Use, and Data Analysis Methods. His research takes a data-driven approach to address challenging issues in planning, in particular those intersecting land use and transportation. His recent research projects include data integration techniques for transportation and land use modeling, development and evaluation of comprehensive performance measures for transportation and land use systems, and regional strategic planning tools. Dr. Wang has conducted research on Continuous Data Integration for Land Use and Transportation Planning and Modeling, Evaluating and Enhancing Public Transit Systems for Operational Efficiency, Service Quality and Access Equity, and the development of a data science course, Introduction to Scientific Computing for Planners, Engineers, and Scientists.


Transportation | Urban Studies | Urban Studies and Planning

Explore Regional Variation in the Effects of Built Environment on Driving with High Resolution U.S. Nationwide Data



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