Urban travel behavior adaptation of temporary transnational residents

Mayara Moraes Monteiro*, João de Abreu e Silva, Sonja Haustein, Jorge Pinho de Sousa

*Corresponding author for this work

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Temporary transnational relocation is a growing type of migration. However, travel behavior adaptation of highly skilled temporary residents and its urban impacts have largely been ignored. This study extends the knowledge of mobility biographies, mobility cultures, and mobility of millennials by examining how temporary residents adapt their intra-urban travel behavior in response to a transnational relocation. The data used here comes from semi-structured interviews with students and researchers of nine different nationalities, aged between 19 and 31 years, temporarily living in Portugal (Lisbon or Porto). We found supporting evidence for the occurrence of residential self-selection, although prior information on study/workplace combined with low knowledge on neighborhood-level make it somewhat specific. Given their shortterm perspective, temporary residents are more prone to rely on public transport and non-motorized modes, having a low likelihood of purchasing vehicles. Thus, measures aimed at improving and facilitating the use of active modes can have an immediate effect on this group's travel behavior and contribute to reaching critical mass for these sustainable alternatives. Temporary residents are also a potentially interesting market segment for public transportation operators for increases in revenues, as they tend to display a relatively higher travel intensity and a wider diversity of activities and destinations. Finally, technology usage was found to reduce the stress-related to traveling to unfamiliar places by increasing the perceived spatial orientation, having the downside of generating a feeling of confidence that decreases the internalization of information. Providing timely and persuasive information at the very beginning of temporary residents' stay can help induce their travel behavior decisions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102935
JournalJournal of Transport Geography
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Travel behavior
  • Temporary relocation
  • Mobility biography
  • Mobility culture
  • Residential self-selection
  • Millennials


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