Urban social disparities are widening gaps in living conditions, education and employment opportunities between people who live in wealthier parts of cities and those living in deprived city areas.

One of the drivers of these disparities is a lack of adequate infrastructure and public services in marginalised communities, which often do not have access to job opportunities, grocery stores and other amenities found in cities.

Delft University of Technology released a new web-based mapping tool called CityAccessMap to address this problem. It was created to measure and pinpoint areas in need of structural investments since these residents lack access to adequate infrastructure close by.

CityAccessMap quantifies and depicts how accessible various cities’ urban infrastructure is. Anyone who wants to see how urban infrastructure is spread can use the tool, although urban planners are likely to find it most useful. According to the University in a press release, the designers intend to offer a map of the surrounding areas in case a better support system is required. This online feature specifically aims to increase public authority knowledge.

This interactive web platform helps identify areas that need work and planners can use the app to see how accessibility to different facilities is distributed across their city and its population.

CityAccessMap uses open geographic data from OpenStreetMap and publicly available population grids of the European Commission’s Global Human Settlement Layer (GHSL).

One of the researchers suggests that Rotterdam, a city in the Netherlands, has inadequate local amenities and will probably need investment to address social disparity. However, Rotterdam is just one illustration of why even smaller towns should look into these challenges. Initiatives like the CityAccessMap help to reduce social issues and eliminate inequalities in space and infrastructure.


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