Conceptualization of an urban travel behavior model to mitigate air pollution for sustainable environmental development in Malaysia

K. Jayaraman (Taylor’s University – Lakeside Campus, Subang Jaya, Malaysia)
Nelvin XeChung Leow (Taylor’s University – Lakeside Campus, Subang Jaya, Malaysia)
David Asirvatham (Taylor’s University – Lakeside Campus, Subang Jaya, Malaysia)
Ho Ree Chan (Taylor’s University – Lakeside Campus, Subang Jaya, Malaysia)

Management of Environmental Quality

ISSN: 1477-7835

Publication date: 16 December 2019

Abstract

Purpose

Global issues on the environment, such as climate change, air pollution and carbon monoxide emission, are the primary concerns in any part of the world. The purpose of this paper is to construct a conceptual framework for the travel behavior performance of a commuter, and it is expected to mitigate air pollution from vehicle emission and to promote smart mobility on the road.

Design/methodology/approach

From the extensive literature review, the conceptual framework for the travel behavior performance of a commuter has been developed and is supported by the theory of interpersonal behavior (TIB), whose functions are attitude, social factor, affect and habit. In the present paper, attitude is conceptualized by four predictors, namely confidence in driving, green environment, social responsibility and deviation in driving. The social factor is characterized by subjective norms, social status and digitalization. Affect factor is conceptualized by accidents and damages, road infrastructure, and weather conditions. The mental block in following the ancestor’s way of owning a personal vehicle is the predictor for the habit.

Findings

One of the major contributors to environmental damages is road traffic. Notably, vehicle emissions are on the rise every year due to the increase of reliance on vehicles, and there is no alternative to this issue. Although Malaysia has a well-organized infrastructure with effective digitalized technology on the road for the transport system, there is severe traffic congestion in Klang Valley, Kuala Lumpur, because of a lack of travel plan behavior during peak hours. If the road commuters give the predictors constructed in the proposed conceptual framework the highest importance, then there will be much relief to traffic congestion on the road.

Research limitations/implications

Since the present study focuses on the conceptualization of an urban travel behavior model (UTBM), and also highlights the synchronization of the proposed framework with the management theory, the results are expected after the primary survey based on the cross-sectional study will be conducted.

Originality/value

The identification of the suitable predictors for the UTBM toward the travel behavior performance of a commuter is the real novelty of the present study. Also, the cause and effect relationships of different predictors in terms of path directions of the proposed research framework are the highlights of the study. Further, the predictors in the proposed framework and the TIB have been synchronized with operational definitions, which are the original contributions of the present study, which will enhance the sustainable environmental development for the society as a whole.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors are highly thankful to the reviewers and the editor for their valuable comments and suggestions, which enhanced the quality of the present paper. This research is sponsored by Taylor’s University Flagship Research, Project Code: TUFR/2017/004/01, Budget Code: 320201-SR21-429-C31, and the authors are highly thankful to Taylor’s University, Selangor, Malaysia.

Citation

Jayaraman, K., Leow, N.X., Asirvatham, D. and Chan, H.R. (2019), "Conceptualization of an urban travel behavior model to mitigate air pollution for sustainable environmental development in Malaysia", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 31 No. 3, pp. 785-799. https://doi.org/10.1108/MEQ-03-2019-0070

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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