Activity Space

What is it?
The concept of an Activity Space refers to the geographical area where individuals carry out their daily activities. It encompasses the locations that a person frequently travels to as well as the connecting transportation routes.
Why we move

The Activity Space is primarily shaped by the locations of Basic Functions of Everyday Life, which a person visits on a regular basis such as the place of residence, workplace, educational, or recreational locations.

Recently and especially during the Covid pandemic, the importance of a virtual activity space is gaining importance. Such a ‘virtual space’ could contribute to a reduction of trips, for example by facilitating online shopping and virtual meetings as alternatives to in-person visits. Thus, such developments could reduce people’s physical activity spaces. However, there is also evidence that such reductions of a person’s travel time are often re-invested into other leisure trips, countering the trend of reduced activity spaces. This supports the idea that humans have constant Travel Time Budgets.


How we move

The size of an individual’s activity space is influenced by several factors, including their residential location, location of activities, accessibility of public transport, and various demographic and socio-economic factors. For instance, individuals with low socio-economic status and limited access to affordable public transport may have a reduced ability to move around, leading to smaller activity spaces. Additionally, factors like age and walking disabilities can also impact the extent of one’s activity space. Urban areas with mixed-use zoning tend to enable residents to reach important destinations within smaller activity spaces compared to rural areas where greater distances between destinations are common.

In the setting of an Individual Mobility Budget, as proposed by MyFairShare, the concept of Minimum Mobility Standards ensures that everyone can access places that provide basic necessities of everyday life within a reasonable distance, regardless of their personal abilities and place of residence, thus promoting fairness and equity.

Further Reading