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The Multiple Dimensions of Daily Travel Time

daily time in the metro
The thesis of Xavier Delclòs aims to study daily travel time in the context of a city like Barcelona and how people perceives and manages it differently, based on empirical findings of the Barcelona Metropolitan Region. The results show an evident relationship between territorial structure and socioeconomic variables with the daily mobility, as well as alternative conceptualizations of time that could be useful for future investigations.

Time is our most finite resource, and one that is a priori equally limited for all human beings. A considerable part of our life time, approximately one hour and a half every day, is spent on the move: going to and from work, running errands, visiting others, strolling, and so on. But, is this average value applicable to everyone, independently of who we are and where we live? Do we all perceive and manage time in the context of everyday life in the same manner? The present doctoral thesis aims to contribute in answering these questions by analyzing daily travel time in the context of the Mediterranean city, in this case by focusing on the Barcelona Metropolitan Region, in Catalonia.

The main hypothesis of this research is that travel time presents multiple dimensions that have not traditionally been sufficiently visible. This, in turn, requires a specific methodological design based on the combination of data sources and techniques that allow for these different dimensions of travel time to emerge. In this thesis daily travel time is analyzed in the context of its underlying spatial structure, in relation to individual and relational variables, taking into account the difference between perceived and objective travel time and, lastly, understanding what implications large temporal investments in mobility can have at the individual level.

For this purpose, the present research has been structured around four specific empirical studies published in international high-impact academic journals, which constitute the core of the dissertation. Besides specific results of each study, the dissertation concludes that while there is an evident relationship between territorial structure and socioeconomic variables with daily mobility, alternative understandings of time are in place both for future research and also planning practices.

Xavier Delclòs
Department of Geography
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona


PhD Thesis. The Multiple Dimensions of Daily Travel Time: Empirical Findings In The Barcelona Metropolitan Region. Xavier Delclòs. Defended in the doctoral program in Geography. Directed by Dra. Carme Miralles and el Dr. Aaron Gutiérrez.

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