Assessing spatial equity

An evaluation of measures of accessibility to public playgrounds

E. Talen, L. Anselin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

329 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Geographical and political research on urban service delivery - who benefits and why - has proliferated during the past two decades. Overall, this literature is not characterized by a particular attention to the importance of method in drawing conclusions about spatial equity based on empirical studies. Specifically, there has been scant interest in the effect of geographic methodology on assessing the relationship between access and socioeconomic characteristics that are spatially defined. In this paper we take a spatial analytical perspective to evaluate the importance of methodology in assessing whether or not, or to what degree the distribution of urban public services is equitable. We approach this issue by means of an empirical case study of the spatial distribution of playgrounds in Tulsa, Oklahoma, relative to that of the targeted constituencies (children) and other socioeconomic indicators. In addition to the 'traditional' measure (count of facilities in an areal unit), we consider a potential measure (based on the gravity model), average travel distance, and distance to the nearest playground as indicators of accessibility. We find significant differences between the spatial patterns in these measures that are suggested by local indicators of spatial association and other techniques of exploratory spatial data analysis. The choice of access measure not only implies a particular treatment of spatial externalities but also affects conclusions about the existence of spatial mismatch and inequity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)595-613
Number of pages19
JournalEnvironment and Planning A
Volume30
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1998
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

playground
accessibility
equity
socioeconomic indicator
spatial mismatch
urban service
methodology
public service
evaluation
spatial data
gravity
spatial distribution
mismatch
data analysis
travel
indicator
public
method
externality
effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development

Cite this

Assessing spatial equity : An evaluation of measures of accessibility to public playgrounds. / Talen, E.; Anselin, L.

In: Environment and Planning A, Vol. 30, No. 4, 04.1998, p. 595-613.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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