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What Kind of Compact Development Makes People Drive Less? The “Ds of the Built Environment” versus Neighborhood Amenities

Journal article
Authors Erik Elldér
Published in Journal of Planning Education and Research
ISSN 0739456X
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Economy and Society, Unit for Human Geography
Language en
Keywords accessibility, car travel, compact development, Ds of the built environment, neighborhood amenities, Sweden, travel behavior
Subject categories Social and Economic Geography, Human Geography, Transport Systems and Logistics, Architectural Engineering


This article seeks insight into the kind of compact development that leads to reduced car driving by examining the significance of local amenities relative to the traditional “five Ds of the built environment.” Regression models of unique microdata covering all of Sweden show that an increasing number of amenities near home causes more people to give up driving and instead walk and cycle, and that the presence of even a few local amenities can mean shorter travel distances. After detailed consideration of local amenities, street network design has little significance, and the effects of diversity and density are significantly weakened.

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