Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

land use - urban design, place - urban, mode - mass transit, mode - pedestrian


Walking, Urban design, Transit, Public transit, Portland (Oregon), Neighborhoods, Mixed use development, Mass transit, Local transit, Land use, Joint occupancy of buildings, Households, Automobile ownership


Many cities have traditional neighborhoods composed of diverse housing, mixed land uses, pedestrian connectivity, and convenient transit access. The effects of these types of land use patterns on automobile ownership are quantified. Using Portland, Oregon, a model is tested that explains automobile ownership on the basis of household, neighborhood, and urban design characteristics. Strong evidence is found of the effect of mixed land use on automobile ownership: as land use mix changes from homogeneous to diverse, the probability of owning an automobile decreases by 31 percentage points, ceteris paribus. Findings imply that traditional neighborhoods are more conducive to alternatives to private vehicle use, such as walking and public transit. It was concluded that inner-ring suburbs that have traditional neighborhood features provide households with the opportunity to express their preference to avoid automobile ownership and to save on the cost of owning and operating automobiles.