Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-7635

Article | Open Access

Differences in Active Travel Between Immigrants in an Active and Less Active Mobility Culture

Full Text   PDF (free download)
Views: 454 | Downloads: 669

Abstract:  Despite growing investments in active travel infrastructure in many developed countries, walking and cycling rates often remain low. In addition to changes in the built environment, life experiences, place-specific urban mobility policies, and social and cultural norms with regard to active travel mode use are also found to be important factors for encouraging walking and cycling. Many researchers have examined immigrants’ travel behaviour to study the influence of social and cultural norms and place-specific factors on mode choice and travel decisions. However, knowledge of the differences in walking and cycling behaviour between various sub-groups of immigrants remains limited. By means of a multiple linear regression model, this study investigates differences in walking and cycling behaviours between immigrants in a less active travel culture, namely New Zealand, and an active travel culture, the Netherlands. The findings show that immigrants in both contexts walk and cycle more than the wider populations. Analysis results demonstrate that socio-demographic characteristics, car and bicycle access, and trip purpose all have a significant effect on active travel behaviour. Furthermore, on average, Dutch born-and-raised immigrants in New Zealand cycle more days per month than professional immigrants in the Netherlands and tend to use a much wider range of transport modes, particularly sharing services. These findings suggest that past experiences with particular travel modes and socialisation factors likely play a major role in active travel behaviour, thereby stressing the need for more research on the role of cultural and social norms in travel decision-making processes.

Keywords:  cycling; immigrants; New Zealand; The Netherlands; travel behaviour; walking



© Koen Olivier Faber, Simon Kingham, Lindsey Conrow, Dea van Lierop. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.