Gated communities and residential travel behaviour

Burke, Matthew Ian. (2005). Gated communities and residential travel behaviour PhD Thesis, School of Geography, Planning and Architecture, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Burke, Matthew Ian.
Thesis Title Gated communities and residential travel behaviour
School, Centre or Institute School of Geography, Planning and Architecture
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2005
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Phil Smith
Total pages 439
Collection year 2005
Language eng
Subjects L
310103 Urban and Regional Planning
680100 Planning
Formatted abstract

The built environment is known to influence travel behaviour, particularly through such elements as street network design, residential and employment density, and the mixing of land uses. This study sought to identify whether gated communities- private residential estates that are separated from their surrounds by a barrier to human movement - also influence travel behaviour. Using a matched-pair block design of adjacent and comparable gated and nongated estates in Brisbane, Australia, three separate but interlinked research approaches were used to identify whether gating influences the travel behaviour of residents. A survey of residents to obtain trip-based travel diaries, demographic and attitudinal data was complemented with site audits, interviews and field observations. The survey regime was applied at separate research locations in Brisbane in November-December 2001 and from November 2003 to March 2004. The data was used to develop an understanding of the travel patterns of residents in these estates, including use of internal streets by pedestrians. A variety of statistical tests were employed and multivariate regression analysis was used to develop models that relate gating to variations in each person's vehicle kilometres travelled (VKT) and their mode choice, isolating the influence of demographic factors and motor vehicle availability. The research found a number of small but significant differences in behaviour. Persons in the gated communities had a moderate increase in their mode share for motor vehicle travel, and a decreased mode share for walking, as compared to persons in the nongated estates. Public transport use was constant across the two samples. The residents of the gated estates were also found to have significantly higher mean values for vehicle kilometres travelled, when all the other factors in the models were taken into account. While there were significant attitudinal benefits that accrued to residents in the gated communities in terms of women feeling safe from robbery, harassment or attack, and all residents feeling safer when walking inside their estate at night, these benefits did not lead to increased use of the street or pedestrian trip-making behaviour generally. Significant concerns were identified relating to the capacity for regulations covering these private estates to prohibit children from riding bicycles or otherwise playing in their streets, despite their being traffic calmed and having barriers to vehicular intrusion. The findings suggest that for the gated communities examined, gating does influence travel behaviour in a variety of ways, almost all of which are negative in terms of reducing reliance on the automobile and encouraging physical activity. 

Keyword Gated communities
Urban transportation

 
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