Relative Accessibility Deprivation Indicators for Urban Settings: Definitions and Application to Food Deserts in Montreal

Urban Studies, June 2010; vol. 47, 7: pp. 1415-1438., first published on February 19, 2010

Antonio Páez, Ruben Gertes Mercado, Steven Farber, Catherine Morency, and Matthew Roorda

“Accessibility research, within the context of the social exclusion dimensions of transport, has provided valuable tools to understand the potential of people to reach daily life activity locations. In this paper, model-based estimates of distance travelled are used to calculate a cumulative opportunities measure of accessibility. Multivariate, spatially expanded models produce estimates of distance travelled that are specific to both geographical location and type of individual. Opportunity landscapes obtained based on these estimates are used for comparative accessibility analysis by means of what are termed relative accessibility deprivation indicators. The indicators proposed are demonstrated with a case study of food deserts in the city of Montreal, Canada. The results of the analysis illustrate the variations in accessibility between individuals in low-income households and the reference group, and the effect of vehicle ownership for accessibility to food services, thus highlighting the social exclusion implications of these factors.”