Title: Urban sprawl and implications for sustainable transportation: analysing changing commuting patterns in a Mediterranean city region

Authors: Luca Salvati; Kostas Rontos; Vittorio Gargiulo Morelli

Addresses: Consiglio per la Ricerca e la sperimentazione in Agricoltura, Centro per lo studio delle Relazioni Pianta-Suolo (CRA-RPS), Via della Navicella 2-4, I-00184 Rome, Italy ' Department of Sociology, University of the Aegean, GR-81100 Mitilini, Lesvos, Greece ' Bain & Company, Italy Inc., Via Crocefisso, 10, 20122 Milan, Italy

Abstract: The present study analyses changing commuting patterns according to settlement characteristics in Athens' Metropolitan Area (AMA). The aim is to contribute to the policy-debate regarding the implications of exurban development for sustainable transportation in Southern Europe. The study was carried out for the period 1981 to 2011 using multivariate statistics coupled with spatial analysis. AMA was selected as case study as it represents a paradigmatic example of a compact Mediterranean city undergoing sprawl. Overall, our results reveal a diverging pattern according to settlement's characteristics: compact urban settlements characterised by a high degree of social mixité and land-use specialisations exhibit sustainable commuting patterns, while low-density areas, arising North-East of Athens following the infrastructural development promoted by Olympic Games, present the highest work-to-home travel time. We conclude that, in order to achieve sustainable transportation in these areas, policy-makers should promote a polycentric development with the formation of self-sustaining sub-centres featuring mixed land-use specialisations.

Keywords: urban sprawl; compactness; commuting patterns; sustainable transport; spatial analysis; Southern Europe; Greece; Athens; commuting patterns; work-to-home travel time; polycentric development; self-sustaining sub-centres; mixed land use; cities; city regions.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSOC.2015.073553

International Journal of Sustainable Society, 2015 Vol.7 No.4, pp.333 - 352

Available online: 12 Dec 2015 *

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