Study on effects of resident-perceived neighborhood boundaries on public services accessibility & its relation to utilization: using Geographic Information System, focusing on the case of public parks in Austin, Texas
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One of the most important issues in the study of Urban-Service Distribution is the choice of the unit of analysis. Because of the ready availability of various data at the level of residence units, census tracts have been the spatial units most commonly selected. In some cases, municipally defined service districts have also been selected, and they are, in fact, only the aggregates of several neighboring census tracts. The problem encountered in the current study is the fact that Census-based Neighborhoods such as census tracts and the aggregations of census tracts frequently do not correspond with commonly recognized neighborhoods experienced informally in daily life, and they do not match local residents' perceptions of their neighborhoods as social areas. The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of Resident-perceived Neighborhood Boundaries (as the alternative unit of analysis to conventionally-used Census-based Neighborhood Units) on the accessibility to public parks based on equity consideration and its relationship to park utilization. The study also addressed whether the neighborhood boundaries perceived by the actual residents may exhibit more actual neighborhood construct than Census-based Neighborhood Units when the relationship between park accessibility and utilization is considered. First, the results indicate that when Resident-perceived Neighborhood Boundaries are adopted, there is no significant change, either in accessibility measures or in the equity of public park distribution among neighborhoods of different social strata. Second, there was no significant relationship between parks accessibility and utilization, which means that even though a park may be closest to a household, it is not always true that the household will choose to use that park. Third, it was confirmed that the relationship between park accessibility and utilization was significantly affected by some utilization factors. That is, travel distances to the parks were significantly affected by different types of utilization factors and, according to the classification of park type, the affecting utilization factors were different. Lastly, as the spatial unit of analysis, Resident-perceived Neighborhood Boundaries do not significantly enhance the strength of the relationship between public services accessibility and utilization compared to using Census-based Neighborhood Units.
Public Services Distribution
Public Participation GIS
Geographic Information System
Cho, Chun Man (2003). Study on effects of resident-perceived neighborhood boundaries on public services accessibility & its relation to utilization: using Geographic Information System, focusing on the case of public parks in Austin, Texas. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from
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