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Travel related zones of the urban form - travel behaviour in public transport, pedestrian and car oriented urban areas

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Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Smart mobility and services (SMO)
Transport mode
Multimodal icon
Transport policies
Societal/Economic issues
Transport sectors
Passenger transport


Background & Policy context

Urban form affects the daily travel demand and possibilities for use of different travel modes. As transport sector is one of the increasing sectors using energy, the management of passenger car traffic growth is one of the biggest challenges in the near future. Travel patterns vary significantly depending on e.g. distance to city centre or local centres, availability of local services and public transport level of service. Urban form has in many recent studies been divided into different types of areas and zones according to the public transport services and availability of other services. The zones have usually been based on location of activities and development of transport system.

Urban zones have in Finland been studied in several urban areas. However, the features of the zones have not been studied in detail and there has been a lack of uniform criteria for the zones to be applied in polycentric urban areas and urban areas of different sizes. In addition, there is a need for information of the travel patterns on the different zones.


The object of the research project is to refine the land use and travel behaviour data for the purposes of land use and transport system planning. The purpose is to provide information for identification of the development areas suitable for consolidated urban planning. Combined data consisting information about travel behaviour and urban form can also be utilised in the analysis of the transport-related effects of urban form.  

The results support the development and introduction of new innovations of energy-efficient and sustainable urban form. Transport-related zoning forms a planning method for planning of urban form and transport system. The method can be utilised by planning authorities, urban planners and consultant agencies.


The study area of the project is the Helsinki region including the commuting area of the metropolitan region. The polycentric region is in the study divided into zones according to their location in the urban form and public transport supply. The zones are public transport and pedestrian zones and car oriented areas. The criteria of the urban zones are defined for large urban regions and their neighbouring areas. Criteria is based on public transport services, availability of local services and the distance from city centre.

Travel behaviour is studied in the research project by combining the national and regional travel survey data into the GIS-based zones.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
Tiehallinto (Finnra - Finnish Road Administration)
Type of funding
Public (national/regional/local)


The interim results include criteria of the zones, zonal division at Helsinki Region at present and in 1990 and travel patterns for each zone. Travel patterns have been presented as mobility profiles, which can be utilised in analysing the effects of the urban form on the travel patterns. Travel behaviour data is combined to the land use and urban form database enabling analysis of the time series of the urban form and mobility profiles. The data can be utilised in the analysis of the interaction between land use and transport.

Policy implications

The research project provides information concerning the factors affecting daily travel choices and possibilities to affect travel behaviour by the means of urban planning and transport system planning.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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