Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Committee Chair

V. Dimitra Pyrialakou

Committee Member

Kakan Dey

Committee Member

David Martinelli


This thesis contributes to the literature assessing the relationships between travel patterns, transportation-related energy consumption, and urban form. Although the literature has explored several area-related and other factors, the focus has mainly been on urban areas. This research aims to (1) quantify the relationship of transportation-related energy consumption with urban form, (2) explore how individual attitudes might affect consumption, and (3) explore differences in consumption among different socioeconomic and demographic population groups.

Data collected from an online survey targeting adults in the contiguous U.S. supplemented with secondary spatial data were used to address the research goals. The collected sample was distributed across metropolitan, micropolitan, and rural areas in the contiguous U.S. and was representative of the population in terms of age and gender. A transportation energy calculator was created to estimate the annual transportation-related energy consumed in British Thermal Units (BTU), using information collected on all transportation mode usage. Additional data on land use and the built environment were retrieved and linked with the individual responses using residence location information.

The results suggest that urban form and attitudinal factors are consistently and strongly associated with total, driving, and shared transportation mode energy consumption, even when the effects of different socioeconomic and demographic characteristics as well as travel behaviors are considered. This research can elucidate the interactions between accessibility, land use, and other area characteristics, rurality, and transportation-related energy consumption. With this understanding, the findings of this research can inform policy and land-use and other planning decisions that can both reduce carbon footprint and help transport disadvantaged populations to reduce energy consumption, and thus, transportation costs.

Embargo Reason

Publication Pending