The effect of housing market segmentation on commuting: A geographical analysis
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This study examines the role of urban spatial structure on commuting. Among the many forces that constitute the dimensions of urban structure, it is focused on the fragmentation of a metropolitan area into distinct housing submarkets. The study refers to this phenomenon as "housing market segmentation". Empirical analysis of the relationship between housing market segmentation and commute length in 85 metropolitan areas shows that housing market segmentation (as a component of urban spatial structure) lengthens commute distances. The operationalization of the IHMS rests on the definition of housing submarkets, which are derived by means of a fuzzy c -means algorithm. The performance of fuzzy clustering is evaluated in comparison with that of k -means methods. An F -test confirms that fuzzy clustering outperforms hard clustering. Fuzzy clustering is shown to be of great use in the classification of housing markets based on census data. The index of housing market segmentation is measured for 85 metropolitan areas. Housing market tends to be more segmented in large metropolitan areas while housing market segmentation is not correlated with geographic region. Complexity of industrial structure and racialized process of residential development seems to contribute to a high degree of housing market segmentation. Regression analysis of metropolitan-wide commute length shows that commute time is affected by labor market scale (e.g., the number of workers), labor market structure (e.g., composition of industry, specialization or diversification), labor market performance (e.g., unemployment), socioeconomic variables (e.g., income, age, ethnic composition), modal split, and urban form features (e.g., housing density). When commute length is defined in terms of vehicle miles, housing market segmentation is found to be an important contributing factor. The study indicates that disparity between residential neighborhoods (i.e., housing market segmentation as a component of urban structure) can impose negative impact on sustainable transportation.