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International Journal of Environment Science and Technology
Center for Environment and Energy Research and Studies (CEERS)
ISSN: 1735-1472
EISSN: 1735-2630
Vol. 11, No. 8, 2014, pp. 2217-2232
Bioline Code: st14214
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

International Journal of Environment Science and Technology, Vol. 11, No. 8, 2014, pp. 2217-2232

 en Identifying the underlying constructs linking urban form and travel behaviour using a grounded theory approach
Banerjee, U. & Hine, J.


The role of urban form in influencing travel behaviour has gained particular interest to scholars and policy makers to achieve a broader goal of sustainability despite varied scholastic opinion on the effectiveness of this relationship. While transportation forms the nexus of any urban environment, it also accounts for about thirty-six per cent of the total energy consumption in the UK [Department of Energy and Climate Change, UK, 2013]. Thus, an emphasis to reduce greenhouse emissions in this sector remains a key policy objective to achieve sustainability. Also there is an overemphasis of research in this area on quantitative association between key variables as opposed to qualitative exploration in order to understand complex human behaviour. The study reported in this paper has been designed to address this gap. Using a grounded theory analysis, this paper reports findings from 6 focus group discussions and 17 in-depth interviews. Fifty-three participants were recruited from three case study areas across Northern Ireland to represent the urban continuum. Seven overarching categories have been identified explaining the interrelationships between urban form and travel behaviour in the Northern Ireland context. However, at a macro-scale, land-use policies have played a dominant role in shaping the travel patterns and this has translated in the form of car dependency and residential immobility over the years in Northern Ireland. Although current policy now adopts a more integrated approach to curb urban sprawl and achieve modal split, soft policy measures have proved useful in increasing the effectiveness of these policy interventions.

Urban form; Travel behaviour; Sustainability; Grounded theory; Policy intervention

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