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The Role of Transport in How We Choose Where to Live: A Qualitative Investigation of Residential Location Choice in the Phoenix, AZ Region

The Role of Transport in How We Choose Where to Live: A Qualitative Investigation of Residential Location Choice in the Phoenix, AZ Region

​Principal Investigator: Deborah Salon, Associate Professor, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning
Project Duration: 12 months
​Project Budget (Federal UTC Funds): 
$3,140
Project Budget (Cost-share): 
$16,920
Institution:
Arizona State University

 

Abstract
In the literature on the relationship between transportation and land use, one of the key questions is that of residential self selection. How much does the transportation environment affect households’ choices about where to live? Here, we add to this literature with an interview-based study of the residential choices made by 46 recent homebuyers in the Phoenix, AZ metropolitan region. The study’s main goals were (1) to understand how households make home buying decisions, and (2) to investigate the role of transportation-related factors in these decisions. Overall, we found remarkable diversity in the home buying decision processes and outcomes among households in our sample, even when those households were demographically similar. Focusing on the role of transport, we find that many homebuyers consider proximity to key destinations when choosing their home, but only a small minority prioritize access to modes of transport other than the private car. It may be that the prevailing culture of car dependence in the Phoenix region limits both homebuyers’ actual options as well as their capacity to even imagine multimodal living.

 

Research Products and Implementation

Scope of Work

​Final Report

Research Brief ​(coming soon)