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The change in commuting time in the process of spatially decentralized development has generated debates on the commuting impacts of spatial decentralization. Using Atlanta and Boston as two sizable but contrasting regions, this research compares commuting and urban spatial structure across space and over time, and examines commuting length increase in relation to the simultaneous decentralization of employment and residence. The empirical results indicate that, while decentralized development is unavoidable in growing regions, alternative decentralization pathways can result in very different transportation outcomes. The relatively spatially constrained decentralization in Boston results in a shorter commuting time and distance compared to the much more sprawling Atlanta.


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