blog | 20.09.2017 |

Mapping People’s Access to Transport and Jobs – The Spatial Urban Data System (SUDS)

UBDC and SUDS – an overview

In the era of big data and data science, new forms of geospatial data and big data methods are making a huge contribution to research on sustainable cities and urban transformation. UBDC’s Spatial Urban Data System (SUDS) integrates demographic data, environmental data, and geosocial networking data to measure and map urban indicators for different aspects of urban areas, including transport, employment, education, public services, social inequalities and so forth. SUDS will help urban planners and others with an interest in their local area to understand what is happening on the ground, and to make planning decisions based on solid methods and quality data.

How we discover information about people’s access to transport, jobs and more

We measure and map people’s access to public transport services, jobs, and public services (healthcare and school) at a small area scale – that is, in spatial units covering very small sections on the map. The core of our measure of public transport accessibility is spatial proximity to stops/stations, and frequency of bus or train lines. Combining public transport accessibility maps with household income maps and car access maps, we identify areas suffering from ‘transport poverty’, and we estimate the number of people living in those deprived areas. We then investigate how access to public transport services and jobs impacts on variations in the labour market. Where government and local authorities aim to reducing social and spatial inequalities, they will benefit from this work by incorporating it into their planning analysis, and use it to support distributing investment on urban infrastructure and design more effectively.

More on the Transport Accessibility Index (TAI) – England and Wales

The ‘transport accessibility index’ (TAI) measures access to public transport service at the small area level according to spatial proximity to stops/stations and frequency of (bus or train) lines. Figure 1 maps TAIs at the middle layer super output area (MSOA) level across England and Wales. Figure 2 lists average TAI in English and Welsh cities. London tops on the access to public transport services, and it is followed by Birmingham, Manchester and Newcastle. Welsh cities tend to have relatively less access, as Cardiff and Swansea both have a relatively low average TAI.

Currently, we have three working papers on the research in this project.

Figure 1: TAIs at the middle layer super output area (MSOA) level across England and Wales

Image of map showing TAIs at the middle layer super output area (MSOA) level across England and Wales


 Figure 2: Average TAI in English and Welsh cities

Image of bar graph showing Average TAI in English and Welsh cities


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