Literature Review: GIS-Based Implementation

Subject: Religion
Pages: 10
Words: 2792
Reading time:
12 min
Study level: PhD

Spatial accessibility is important in ensuring equitable provision of resources to people of various population segments in both urban and rural setups. However, the efforts to implement the initiative have been limited by several barriers due to marginalization and distances to such facilities. This situation has made the provision of high-quality services a problem (Luo and Qi 1100). There is notable uneven distribution of essential services among the ethnic categories that exist in the Melbourne metropolitan. Various circumstances concerning social exclusion can also prevent the access to the essential services.

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In this respect, most of the Muslim communities are disadvantaged in terms of jobs, healthcare services, schools, and transportation. Researchers such as Luo and Qi (2009) have mentioned that spatial accessibility encompasses regional availability to essential services within the region. They further noted that the regional availability entails the distribution of services and their demands in a population-to-provider ratio.

On the other hand, accessibility to the services entails complex interactions that exist between the supply and demand at different locations (Luo and Qi 1100). This literature review explores the accessibility to essential services among the Muslim communities in the Melbourne city. The literature will be reviewed by elaborating the existing measures, GIS-based implementation, and application of residential segregation.

The Existing Measures of Spatial Access to Essential Services

According to Li, Serban, and Swann, measuring spatial access to essential services in a GIS environment should be based on aspects such as density, proximity, and quality of services offered to the people (273). The density refers to the area-based measures that must consider the number of services or facilities in a given area (Li, Serban, and Swann 273).

The GIS application focuses on the determination, distribution, and management of the essential services offered to the members of the community. Various GIS services are based on opportunity, ratio, impedance, gravity, utility, and/or constraint measures (Wang 1104). Grubesic who further classified them into provider-to-population ratios, distance to the closest provider, average distance to the providers, and gravitational models (117) confirmed such measures of spatial accessibility. Other researchers categorized the spatial accessibility services into opportunity-based, gravity-type, utility-based, and space-time measures.

Provider-to-Population Ratios

This measurement method determines the spatial accessibility of essential services such as healthcare access to rationing service capacity based on the population size of a given area (Ellis et al. 1315). For example, the access to healthcare services is determined by calculating the ratios of the numbers of nurses, doctors, or the hospital beds available to serve the population size. The method is easily implemented in counties, cities, and/or states that are ready to adopt the GIS services. However, this special accessibility method has been found to be misleading due to the vastness of the Melbourne city (Ellis et al. 1315).

This method is unable to identify various internal variations of accessibility such as differences in culture, marginalization, and varying distances to essential services covered. The overall advantage of the technique is in its ease of computation that makes it significant in the approximation of the spatial accessibility to essential services. The method is also used due to its ability to track changes after a given timeframe (Apparicio et al. 118).

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As aims to compare the spatial access to essential services among the Muslim community in Melbourne city, the use of the abovementioned technique requires the determination of the ratio of the residents to primary care. This objective helps in evaluating the GIS needs with a view of providing access to essential services (Ellis et al. 1315).

Gravity-Based Technique

These potential accessibility measures are formulated based on the Newton’s Law of Gravitation. The measures entail both the availability aspects and accountability to travels and planning of land use (Danmeier et al. 265). These measures are also used to determine the intensity of interactions that exist in social or economic groups in different localities. Furthermore, these measures indicate the aggregated centrality of a given place with respect to the population, employment, industry, and services (Danmeier et al. 265).

Everybody is assumed entitled to access to essential services offered in the Melbourne city. This statement is false because various services are only available to people who are within the vicinity of the city. Such services are also issued based on the domination of ethnic groups (Danmeier et al. 265). Due to the high population of residents in Melbourne city, the access to services can be biased due scrambling of the available resources. Most people who live in the outskirts of the Central Business District (CBD) do not experience the pressure of seeking the services as compared to those within the city. This problem leads to the use of the gravity-based technique in measuring the access to the essential services. The method can be used easily to track various changes in a given timeframe (Danmeier et al. 265).

Opportunity-Based Measures

Opportunity-based measures count the number of available opportunities that can be accessed by people within a given distance or at a given time (Lei, Chen, and Goulias 29). This strategy provides a clue based on the available choices. Since the destinations within the distances are measured equally without considering the time of travel, the quantity emphasizes the number of the existing opportunities rather than the actual distances. Therefore, it is essential in providing the available choices of essential services for the people (Lei, Chen, and Goulias 29).

Travel Impedance-Based Measures

The travel impedance-based measurement gives detail on time, distance, or bus fare. It measures the costs incurred in traveling to a given destination from a given region in relation to the type of transportation and its efficiency (Iacono, Krizek, and El-Geneidy 133).

However, the standards for this measurement depend on the available infrastructure. The maximum distance or time to the infrastructure or locations is usually used as a standard while planning for land use (Iacono, Krizek, and El-Geneidy 133). The geometric centroid of a given region is used to measure the spatial accessibility to the available essential services. This strategy is applied due to its dependence on the available information to produce accurate results. Lotfi and Koohsari further suggested that measures such as straight line and rectangular distances could also be used in the process (133).

Two-Step Floating Catchment Areas Method (2SFCA)

Free access to services in most regions of the Melbourne city has been facing some challenges. McGrail and Humphreys used a 2SFCA technique due to various limitations exhibited by the provider-to-population ratios that could not cover cross-border movement and distance decay within the boundaries (533). This method employs the use of floating catchment areas of overlap; hence, it can model and measure the access to essential services with limitless utilization (McGrail and Humphreys 533).

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This measure involves a two-step calculation procedure. The first step determines the population (k) of size P within the catchment of every service provider (j) of volume (s) (Ngui and Apparicio 166). This step helps in the calculation of the provider-to-population ratio (R) within the catchment area. Therefore, it brings about the demand for the service. The second step helps in the proper allocation of the service ratios to the people through the determination of the amenities (j) located within the catchment of each population (i). Next, the aggregate provider-to-population ratio R is determined. This process results in the determination of access to a given location (Ngui and Apparicio 166). The size of the catchment area (d) should be considered when using this method.

  • Step 1: For each service (j), Rj = Sj/∑k {djk <dmax}Pk
  • Step 2: For each population (i), Ai = ∑ j {dij <dmax}Rj (Ngui and Apparicio, 166).

Recently, several modifications were implemented in this technique. Various improvements in this technique include the addition of the distance decay function, especially in cases where the population is sparse such as in the rural areas. In such areas, the accessibility to essential services is poor. This situation has a significant effect on the residents. However, the use of the decay function can be omitted in the metropolitan areas or cities with higher population and better services. The most used decay functions in the 2SFCA method are:

  • Fast Step-Decay: Weightings (w) = 1, 0.60, 0.25, 0.05
  • Slow Step-Decay: Weightings (w) = 1, 0.80, 0.55, 0.15 (Ngui and Apparicio 166).

Nonetheless, this method is characterized by a greater disparity between the metropolitan and rural areas in terms of the catchment sizes. The metropolitan areas tend to use smaller catchment units (Ngui and Apparicio 166). The existence of variable population within catchment sizes should be noted. The metropolitan region has a higher population with numerous essential services. The people living in such areas easily access essential services at their closest proximities to satisfy their needs. On the other hand, in rural areas, the people have to travel longer distances to get the required services (Ngui and Apparicio 166).

Different researchers have tried to develop their measurement models by limiting the catchment sizes and time. McGrail and Humphreys came up with a maximum of 60 minutes to the nearest 100 services available in rural areas as compared to those of the metropolitan with larger catchment sizes affirmed this situation. The urban areas can be accessed in an average of 10 minutes (533).

Application of Residential Segregations

Studies mostly based on the ethnic groupings and segregations in the Melbourne city have used relative measurements to spatial concentrations, especially the dissimilarity indices and segregations (Robertson 972). Various multi-dimensional situations have been evident in Melbourne city whereby segregations have been done using features such as isolation, clustering of different ethnic groups, the concentration of population, and the centralization of people to the city centers (Robertson 972). Most empirical studies have identified the underlying negative impacts of ethnic residential segregations on the migrants as they strive to access essential services such as employment, wages, salaries, education, and empowerment among others (Bajari and Kahn 2012).

In addition, various geographic clusters have produced negative results upon the evaluation of the available services. Most of the segregations done in the Melbourne city have taken into account the division of the area into minority enclaves that represent the host community as the minority and host community that identifies the host society as the majority (Frankel and Volij 35). These types are further divided into extremely polarized enclaves known as the ghettos and citadels (Frankel and Volij 35). Others such as the polarized, mixed-minority, and associated assimilation-pluralism enclaves fall between the two above major areas (Robertson 972).

Spatial Accessibility in Melbourne City

Most researchers have adopted the use of the GIS-based models, especially the 2SFCA, to ensure the spatial accessibility of essential services in the Melbourne City. A research conducted by Carla et al. on the role of public transport in the accessibility to emergency dental care in Melbourne indicated that areas that had a slow socio-economic progress had higher demands for essential services (227). Public transportation to such areas was found to bear some similarities to those of other areas having the same socioeconomic strata (Rocha et al. 923). Indeed, there was better access to public transportation with about 80 percent of patients supporting it.

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A major concern on the distance covered by people was revealed. For instance, a research conducted by Rocha et al. indicated a major drop of about 65 percent of the patients on high-frequency bus stops (923). The residents of the area where the services are provided have failed to use the public means of transport. In summary, the study identifies that there are still disparities exhibited in the provision of services to the residents (Rocha et al. 923).

McGrail assessed the use of the GIS-based accessibility to essential services and potential user demands in various road networks within the Melbourne City (20). The results indicated numerous inequalities in the spatial access to essential services, especially among the disadvantaged people in the region. This set of circumstances arose from the use of ineffective methods for the planning and distribution of such resources (Haghighi et al. 5).

Changing Spatial Patterns of Muslim Residential Segregation

Residential segregation has had negative effects on the Muslim population in the Melbourne city. Initially, this ethnic enclave pattern provided both social and economic opportunities to the Muslim immigrants in the city. However, problems have been noted due to the ever-increasing unemployment, poor health, and existing social rifts (Koopmans 20). Other issues that have been noted include discrimination. Initially, the Muslim immigrants lived in an ethnic enclave.

However, with the progression in time and development, there has been an increase the neighbor neighborhood population mixing. Such change of the living patterns has resulted in the acquisition of new religions and erosion of various spiritual norms that were kept by the early immigrants (Koopmans 20). Although such changes have been noted among the Muslims in Melbourne city, some of the families have been pushed in isolation, low-quality living standards, and limited opportunities to access services (Apparicio et al. 117).

There have been increased segregation patterns in Melbourne city characterized by different indices. For example, the dissimilarity index has been implemented to ensure the even distribution of people with a view of ensuring neighborhood mix in the city. This index ranges from 0 to 100 for higher segregation patterns (Apparicio et al. 117). Nonetheless, there are variations of segregations in the Muslim minority with a dissimilarity of below 40. The existence of ethnic inequality patterns in the city with Muslims forming the lowest segregation is also noted; hence, the group is deemed as disadvantaged in the city (Apparicio et al. 117).

With various government policies enacted to curb the impacts of segregations patterns that have been changing in the recent times, anti-discrimination legislations in the housing sector have significantly reduced ethnic prejudice thereby improving the accessibility of services to the minorities, especially the Muslims. Koopmans reveals that the patterns of ethnic group segregations are diminishing with an increase of intermixing of various communities (20). The existence of the transitional nature of the enclave developments with a face of multicultural models of the diverse ethnic population is cropping up (Koopmans 20).

Spatial Associations that exist between Muslims Residential Segregations

The Melbourne city has been experiencing changes in demography. There is increasing cultural diversity in the city. Many researchers have documented on the spatial belonging that exists between the populations living in the metropolitan cities. Various documentations of the Muslims in the Melbourne city have elaborated the plights of racial problems (Forrest and Dunn 81). Cases of belongingness are rarely seen in the suburbs of the Melbourne city. A limited framework of government strategies is evident. The government appreciated the existing cultural diversity that strives to ensure that all people feel a sense of belongingness and attachment (Lewis and Craig 21).

Various researchers who recently studied the segregation patterns and racism in Melbourne and other cities in Australia have indicated unevenness in the levels of self-esteem among residents (Roeger, Reed, and Smith 284). According to the major ethnic segregations, the Muslims were highly considered as outgroups; hence, were seen not to fit in the Australian culture. There are problems of unemployment among various categories of people living in Melbourne city (Frankel and Volij 5). The minority people are the most disadvantaged in terms of access to employment, education, and other essential services. A relative disparity in income rates is also observed among the minority groups, especially when compared to the native majorities ((Woodlock 265).

Significant Differences in Spatial Accessibility to Services among Muslims in the Melbourne City

A recent research conducted by Carla et al. on public transportation indicates some similarities among the accessibility to essential services, especially in areas such as transportation (229). The researchers also noted that there was a better access to public transportation with about 80 percent of the pesidents support. However, there was some concern on the distances covered by some people, especially the minority Muslims, who come from the outskirts of Melbourne city (Carla et al. 228).

Taylor elaborated the existence of services that were centered on the care of old-aged Muslims and planning of the Melbourne City to ensure low house rents for the people (10). There have been challenges in the care process since Muslims take keen considerations on matters concerning ethnicity and spiritual background. This situation is considered as a special case that differs from those of other communities, especially in the western world (Okech 339).

Although the city of Melbourne has ensured an increment in the facilities to improve the access to the existing services, especially to the aged Muslims, most of the important needs of the minorities have not been met. With proper care and access to services among the Muslims who represent about 4 percent of the diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds, a growth of about 65 percent is projected to occur between 2016 and 2026.

Works Cited

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