Spatial inequity index for essential facility access at building-level in highly dense urban areas

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Original languageEnglish
Article number104926
Number of pages15
Journal / PublicationCities
Online published18 Mar 2024
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024


Equity and inclusion continue to pose significant challenges for many cities. Disparities in access to resources and facilities among the residents of these areas are often influenced by factors such as geographical location and income level, among others. Therefore, creating a quantitative basis to detect spatial and socio-economic inequities in residents' access to vital infrastructures is crucial for advancing smart cities. This paper introduces a novel measure of Spatial Inequity that is based on 1) computing building-level scores for each building in terms of access to facilities, and 2) comparing the distribution of the scores of these facilities using the Gini coefficient. The proposed building-level scores will enable the identification of GIS hotspots at a high resolution. Then, the Gini-based measure will facilitate a comparison of the distribution of the scores, and determine if they are evenly distributed and equitably accessible. The Gini coefficient was highest (0.89) for waste management and elderly care, and lowest (0.56) for hospitals, reflecting varying levels of inequality. This study applies this Spatial Ineqity methodological framework to Hong Kong, a representative of Highly Dense Cities. The framework benchmarks urban infrastructure, identifies hotspots, and selects interventions for equitable urban development.

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Research Area(s)

  • Urban planning, Smart cities, Urban infrastructure