Abstract (click to download)
Commuting patterns in Sub-Saharan African cities are evolving in tandem with rapid levels of historical urbanization. Yet, our understanding of how the prevailing urban spatial structures shape travel patterns is limited. This study explores the land-use-travel nexus in the Kumasi metropolis in Ghana, by focusing on work commuting. It uses newly available land-use datasets to present TAZ-level analysis of the distribution of land-use activity types. From a survey of a representative sample of 1158 workers, the characteristics of commuters and their travel patterns are examined. The analyses reveal a unique structure for the urban system, that is polycentric in both morphological and functional dimensions, but with a relatively stronger centre (i.e. CBD). Overall, home-work commute flows strongly reflect the prevailing spatial structure. Residence in suburban neighbourhoods; non-home-based employment locations; home-work distance exceeding 0.3 km; and relatively higher-incomes influence motorized transport choice and car-use for work journeys. Walking to work is strongly associated with lower-income levels, residence in historical-core neighbourhoods and home-based employment. The paper contributes to conceptualizing, theorising and understanding the spatial structure-travel nexus at the intra-urban scale by focusing on a previously unexplored urban context. The implications of the findings for integrated urban development and transportation planning are highlighted.
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