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  • Titill er á ensku Residential location and travel behavior: Case study of the capital area of Iceland
  • Útdráttur er á ensku

    One of the fears the human population is facing is climate change. Even small changes in climate can lead to unexpected and irreversible changes in the environment. As the global human population becomes more numerous, the demand for oil, coal and other fuels rises and leads to even more CO₂ emissions into the atmosphere. One of the largest emitters of CO₂ today is the transport sector. Climate change is a global threat and international cooperation is a key for setting forth and achieving mitigation goals.
    The capital area of Iceland is comparable to many European cities in terms of weather and culture. However, use and ownership of cars exceeds that of most European cities, making transport the most intensive GHG consumption category in Iceland in the consumption-based carbon footprint. Iceland has taken part and set mitigation goals for the future to reduce CO₂ emissions. Iceland has ratified the Paris Agreement and the City of Reykjavík recently released a plan to become carbon neutral by 2040. To be able to decarbonize Reykjavík or Iceland as a whole, the transport sector needs to be studied.
    The research goal was to see if there is a connection between residential location and travel behavior. The study area was the capital area of Iceland, which is combined of seven municipalities. The area was divided into three zones according to distance from the city center: 0-5km, 5-10km and over 10km. With these zones, the goal was to see if travel behavior changes from downtown Reykjavík to the suburbs. Both local and long-distance travel were analyzed. Local travel refers to daily distances traveled as well as choice of travel mode. Long-distance travel refers both to travel in Iceland and flights abroad. Data used in analyses came both from a survey and interviews.
    The results show that residential location does matter in terms of travel behavior in some cases, but not all. Examples of other factors that often mattered were family size, income or housing. Overall, people who live in the suburbs have more cars, drive longer distances and use public transport less as a travel mode. As expected, walking, cycling and use of public transport were highest closest to the city center. Previous studies that have been done in Europe have often shown that people living downtown travel more outside of the city. This was not the case in the capital area. Respondents living downtown traveled the least amount within Iceland and when it came to flight travel abroad there was no statistically significant difference between residential areas.

  • 30.5.2018

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