Do changes in the residential location lead to changes in travel attitudes? A structural equation modeling approach

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, place - urban, ridership - attitudes, ridership - behaviour, land use - impacts


Travel behavior, Residential self-selection, Attitudes, Built environment, Structural equation modeling


Numerous studies have found that travel attitudes might not only affect travel behavior, but also the residential location choice as people might choose a residential location based on their travel preferences and needs (i.e. transport-related residential self-selection). However, it might also be possible that the residential location and travel behavior influence attitudes towards travel. In this study—using quasi-longitudinal data—we analyze how a change in the residential environment affects attitudes towards specific modes, both directly and indirectly through changes in mode frequency (of commute and leisure trips). Using a structural equation modeling approach on 1650 recently relocated residents in the city of Ghent, Belgium, this study indicates that moving to a more urban type of neighborhood improves attitudes towards public transport and active travel. Especially for leisure trips the effects from changes in the built environment on attitudes are partly indirect through changes in mode frequency. This study offers new insights into the links between the built environment, travel behavior and attitudes. We provide further evidence that the built environment influences travel attitudes, but also indicate that these effects are partly mediated by travel mode frequency.


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