Land-use patterns, location choice, and travel behavior: Evidence from São Paulo




Land Use Patterns, Location Choice, Travel Behavior


Global South cities are vastly underrepresented in the literature that analyzes the relationships between location choice, land-use patterns and travel behavior. This paper aims to reduce that underrepresentation by bringing new evidence from a metropolitan region in the Global South. We estimate a Structural Equation Model to study the relationships between land-use patterns, location choice, car ownership and travel behavior, while controlling for self-selection, in the metropolitan region of São Paulo, Brazil. The model structure is adapted from previous applications to include variables related with specific aspects of the studied region, with the inclusion of informal work and people working two jobs, while simultaneously controlling for cohort effects associated with being a millennial. The results support the claim that land-use patterns influence travel behavior, even in a metropolitan area showing strong income-based spatial segregation levels. More specifically, commuting distance and car ownership act as important mediators in the relationships between the total amount of travel by mode and land-use patterns. In contrast to previous applications of this model framework, income plays a stronger role, an indication of relevant income-based residential sorting. Cohort effects are also visible, as millennials prefer to live in central, accessible, and mixed areas, own fewer cars, travel less by car, and use public transit and non-motorized modes more frequently.

Author Biography

João de Abreu e Silva, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa

Department of Civil Engineering, Architecture and Georesources Associate Professor


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How to Cite

de Abreu e Silva, J., & Lucchesi, S. (2022). Land-use patterns, location choice, and travel behavior: Evidence from São Paulo. Journal of Transport and Land Use, 15(1), 315–332.