Social and environmental sustainability of travelling within family networks

Rubin, O. & Bertolini, L., Nov-2016, In : Transport policy. 52, p. 72-80 9 p.

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  • Social and environmental sustainability of travelling within family networks

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  • Ori Rubin
  • Luca Bertolini
Travelling for the purpose of face-to-face meetings with family members achieves an array of societal and individual benefits. However, much like other types of travelling, it may have a negative impact on the environment, especially when it is performed by car. But how to decrease these negative effects while facilitating this important type of interaction has not been addressed before. The programme suggested by the Sustainable Mobility paradigm seems inadequate in the context of family meetings. In this paper we take a first step. We introduce two simple indicators for assessing the performance of travel mobility within family networks in terms of social and environmental sustainability: frequency of contact and total CO2 output of the related travel. Using data from the Netherlands, a Structural Equation Modelling analysis is applied to identify the effect of individual characteristics, car ownership and residential location on the two indicators. The main findings are that car ownership is associated with low environmental sustainability but with high social sustainability, and that living in core cities and distance between parents and adult children are associated with low sustainability in both dimensions. These results serve as input for a discussion of the opportunities and constraints for increasing sustainability in travelling for meetings in family networks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-80
Number of pages9
JournalTransport policy
Publication statusPublished - Nov-2016


  • Social travel, Family visits, Face-to-face contact, Social and environmental sustainability, Structural equation modelling, Car use, ADULT CHILDREN, URBAN FORM, INTERGENERATIONAL CONTACT, TIME CONSTRAINTS, PARENTS, HOUSEHOLD, DISTANCE, BEHAVIOR, MEMBERS, LIFE

ID: 65651977