Cities across the globe are reinventing themselves, driven by a variety of forces (Lyons metabolism). At the same time, technological change is dramatically altering the nature of employment and transport systems are on the cusp of radical change with the potential for wider adoption of new mobility services and autonomous vehicles (Marsden et al., 2018). As city landscapes, working practices and transport systems change, so does the nature of the commute – traditionally a regularly repeated journey between a fixed home and work (or educational) location, but increasingly a more ‘slippery’ phenomenon (Le Vine et al., 2017). Commuting has always been an important focus of transport and land use policies in urban areas. During the morning and evening ‘rush hours’, transport networks are under pressure with peak period traffic having multiple negative impacts on the functioning of cities and on the quality of urban environments. Commuting has also been shown to affect the physical and mental health of workers (Chatterjee et al, 2019). Studies of commuting are carried out across different disciplines which makes it difficult to get an overall appreciation of the topic. In this issue of Built Environment, we aimed to bring together a variety of perspectives and assessments of the state of commuting in different parts of the world and how it is evolving. The ten papers in the issue cover three continents and seven countries presenting a true diversity of settings. Each paper offers new insights on how commuting journeys vary across space and how this is influenced by spatial development and economic, technological and cultural change. All of the papers give consideration to how commuting is changing in the context examined, whether explicitly by analysing longitudinal data or implicitly by interpreting their results in the context of broader developments.
Chatterjee, K., & Clark, B. (2019). Changing patterns of commuting. Built Environment, 45(4), 445-449. https://doi.org/10.2148/benv.45.4.445