Transportation-Related Constructs of Activity Spaces of Small Town Residents

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Burnett, Pat
Betak, John
Chang, David
Enders, Wayne T.
Montemayor, Jose

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Council for Advanced Transportation Studies


This paper first discusses the nature of the space which people in small urban areas use for recurrent activities. It is postulated that most work on the individual's activity space is founded on a classical geometric conception of place. An alternative cognitive definition is proposed. Places which are used for such purposes as shopping or recreation are described by learned bundles of meanings (constructs), given a transportation system permitting movement within space. Recent modifications of Kelly's Personal Construct Theory and elicitation procedures are used to demonstrate the richness of the cognitive definition of place, with data from a small sample of 31 University students. In conclusion, it is suggested how elicited transportation-related constructs of places can be utilized to develop improved models of behavior within urban activity spaces.


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