Gentrification and the evolution of commuting behavior within America's urban cores, 2000–2015

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, place - urban, planning - surveys, ridership - commuting, ridership - mode choice, ridership - behaviour


Gentrification, Urban Core, Journey to work, Commuting behavior, Travel mode, Neighborhood change


This study examines recent changes (2000 - ~2015) in the socio-economic/demographic make-up of U.S. urban cores (UCs), and potential associations with commuting behavior including mode and time. Based on a sample of 101 UCs and their encompassing urbanized areas (UAs), the data suggest that UCs have undergone substantial demographic change during the first fifteen years of the 21st century, with key attributes of gentrification on the rise. At the same time, commuting via transit has declined faster within UCs than within their encompassing UAs, while the proportion of workers working from home and cycling to work grew faster than any other mode. Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau's decennial census and American Community Survey (ACS), a series of longitudinal regression models indicated several significant associations between common indicators of gentrification, including proportion of white/non-minority residents, home owners, young adults (18–39), household income, and proportion of college graduates, and changes in non-automotive commute modes (i.e. walking, cycling, transit). This may have implications for transportation infrastructure and policy as urban neighborhoods in the U.S. continue to undergo socio-economic/demographic change.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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