- This study examines metropolitan functional specialization relative to urban commuting patterns and per-capita gasoline consumption in 55 Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas throughout the United States. Under the concept of sustenance organization in human ecology, social scientists have documented support for the importance of the key urban economic function for composition and distribution of population and firms in cities. However, sociological and ecological knowledge of the relationships of functional specialization, commuting, and transportation energy use is extremely limited., The present research utilizes the concept of functional specialization and the framework of the ecological complex in developing relationships and models of personal daily urban travel patterns and gasoline use. The effort is made to examine human ecological factors in a physical approach to energy consumption., Relationships are tested using correlation matrices, regression analyses, and scatterplots where necessary. The findings indicate that the functional specialization of communities is significant in accounting for variance and patterns in their commuting travel and per-capita gasoline consumption. In particular, SMSAs specializing in finance and commerce, versus those with dominance in resource extraction, tend toward longer commutes and are related positively to per-capita gasoline consumption. Additionally, SMSAs with diversification in both the services and manufacturing, versus SMSAs with specialization in either activity, tend toward less efficient commuting and are associated positively with gasoline consumption., and Urban expansion has historically been theoretically linked to greater energy consumption. However, this study indicates that economically developed ring counties may be more efficient than expected. Ring to ring county commuting is inversely associated with per-capita gasoline consumption. Perhaps the migration of persons and the expansion of firms to suburban areas are bringing residences and workplaces closer to each other in a less congested, energy-efficient environment.
- Dissertation Note:
- Ph.D. The Pennsylvania State University 1985.
- Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 46-09, Section: A, page: 2819.
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