Location-type choice for face-to-face social activities and its effect on travel behavior

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Face-to-face social activities, such as joint activities with friends or visiting relatives, involve meeting with other persons at a certain time and location. This (social) spatial-choice behavior is critical for successful urban planning. Recently there has been a rapid emergence of research into social interactions in the field of urban planning and transport. This study contributes to our understanding of the relationships between face-to-face social interaction, location-type choice, and travel by presenting analyses based on social-contact diary data gathered for this study in a large-scale survey conducted in the Netherlands. The analysis framework consists of a set of linked linear regression and discrete choice models to predict the location-type choice for a given face-to-face social interaction, the distance to that location, and the transport mode. Furthermore, the model predicts outcomes of a chain of higher-level decisions including the number of face-to-face interactions and the purpose of the interaction. As independent variables, the model system includes sociodemographic and spatial variables. The results indicate that, to a moderate extent the number of face-to-face social interactions, the purpose of the interactions, and the travel distance can be explained by people’s personal and residential variables. These variables have a strong impact on the type of location for the interaction and the transport mode used to get there.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1057-1075
Number of pages19
JournalEnvironment and Planning B: Planning and Design
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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