Abstract of PhD Thesis

Land use patterns and urban travel behaviour: Towards an evidence-based policy approach to land use and transport planning in the Greater Dublin Area

Fearghal King, University College Dublin (2008)

Population and employment dispersion has exacerbated sprawl throughout many cities, compromising the efficiency of transport systems and the effectiveness of land use planning. While the literature recognises that greater integration between land use and transport is desirable, there has been little empirical testing. The principal research question of this thesis asks whether the patterns and developments of land use and transport are properly integrated in the case of the Greater Dublin Area (GDA), and whether information available to test for such integration is being exploited fully. We develop a framework to test a number of land use and transport theories, including the theory of urban spatial structures and travel patterns; the theory of the determinants of travel behaviour; and the theory of land use zoning and integration with transport. Specific objectives include analysing commuting patterns, establishing the spatial structure, investigating the determinants of travel behaviour, establishing the extent of land use and transport integration, and outlining the extent to which policy can be informed and improved through the acquisition and exploitation of essential data sources. The methodology adopts a case study approach, using the GDA to address our research question. Datasets are developed from the 2002 and 2006 Censuses, as well as a unique data source pertaining to existing land uses in 2000 and 2006. Information on future land use and transport developments is obtained from Local Authority Development Plans and Transport 21, a large-scale transport investment project. Data are layered in GIS. Econometric techniques are used to estimate multilevel and multinomial logit regressions, and a policy analysis is conducted. The results suggest that a dispersal of origins and work-place destinations throughout the GDA has contributed to relative city centre decline. Analysis of the determinants of travel behaviour suggests that new fixed line radial public transport capacity is unlikely to encourage significant modal shift. Developments are not being concentrated where integration with transport could be maximised (e.g. along rail lines). Housing developments are taking place in areas where distance travelled is high, exacerbating urban sprawl. Current policy is unlikely to succeed in achieving the goals of land use and transport integration because of these underlying patterns.