This paper examines the spatial patterns of population density, household automobile ownership and other socio-demographic variables that affect urban travel, as a function of distance from the central city core. Spatial density functions provide a useful characterization of urban structure, and of its evolution when taken at different time intervals. Analysis of the data from four case cities (Austin, Atlanta, Dallas, Phoenix) for 1960, 1970 and 1980 reveals continuing overall dispersion away from the traditional central core, accompanied by the densification of formerly low-density suburbs. This presents implications for high congestion levels in the densifying "suburban" communities, comparable to those typically associated with the CBD. In addition, the analysis has captured the continuing growth of average household automobile ownership and revealed a distinct spatial pattern that seems to be robust across the case areas considered, as well as within radial corridors in the one case that was so analyzed (Austin).
- suburban congestion
- urban structure
- urban transportation planning
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Civil and Structural Engineering