Assessing the Proximity of Healthy Food Options and Food Deserts in a Rural Area in Maine

Applied Geography, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 22 October 2010

Teresa A. Hubley

“The purpose of the project described in this paper was to assess and describe the food environment facing public assistance clients in a rural county in Maine. Using the concept of a “food desert” and an objective tool for rating participating food outlets, the research team developed a spatial model of client access to healthy foods. The final map shows that most rural residents are within acceptable distances of well-rated stores, though these may not be supermarkets.

“Research Highlights

  • “Food Deserts” are defined by distance to supermarkets as sources of healthy food.
  • Stores of all types can be objectively rated for fresh, reasonably priced healthy food.
  • Food deserts re-assessed through ratings may not be true deserts.
  • Information campaigns based on ratings can identify local places and foods to meet consumer needs”

More information

The Spatial Interaction of Housing and Labour Markets: Commuting Flow Analysis of North West England

Urban Studies, March 2010; vol. 47, 3: pp. 620-649., first published on December 7, 2009

Stephen Hincks and Cecilia Wong

“The consideration of housing and labour market interaction is a relatively recent development in an academic and policy debate which has traditionally considered home and work in isolation. This paper aims to examine empirically the spatial process of housing and labour market interaction in the form of commuting at the sub-regional level via a case study of North West England. A statistical analysis and visual GIS mapping of commuting flows are adopted to explore the relationship between the two functional areas. In light of the inadequacies of traditional modelling approaches at capturing the complex nature of housing and labour market interaction, this approach is intended to generate more relevant intelligence to inform policy development. Based on the analysis of housing and labour market interaction, some pointers for future research and policy implications are drawn out.”