Social Exclusion: Accessibility As a Factor of Social Exclusion in the Lisbon Municipality



Social Exclusion: Accessibility As a Factor of Social Exclusion in the Lisbon Municipality

Authors

J P Pritchard, F Moura, CESUR/Instituto Superior T├ęcnico, PT

Description

The paper explores the concept of social exclusion and its interrelationship with accessibility in Lisbon. We tried to unmask a latent social-exclusion variable by using factor analysis on data from a mobility survey to the Lisbon Metropolitan Area.

Abstract

Given the focus of European Policy on the concept of Social Exclusion in the past ten years, an attempt was made through the use of data from Lisbon to empirically validate the belief that accessibility challenges play a role in excluding individuals from society by severely limiting or restricting the ease with which individuals travel to everyday activities. Although conceptually this is generically accepted, the goal was to verify quantitatively if accessibility played a role in social exclusion and if so to what extent.

The main objective of the paper was to explore the concept of social exclusion and its interrelationship with accessibility in the Lisbon Municipality. An attempt was made to unmask a latent social-exclusion variable through the use of a factor analysis based on data from a large-sample cross-sectional metropolitan mobility survey and reinforced with socio-economic data from the latest Portuguese Census.

The methodology consisted of the selection of several accessibility and social indicators that would capture one of the seven dimensions of social exclusion: Economic, societal, social networks, organized political, personal political, personal, living space, temporal and mobility. However given the lack of data regarding the political dimensions, these were not included in the study. The indicators were calculated at the smallest aggregation level possible based on the Portuguese census tracts. Once this was done, confirmatory factor analysis was performed in order to see if there was an underlying factor that could be identified as possible social exclusion based on the calculated indicators. Furthermore the indicators were geographically mapped in order to attempt to derive clues as to if and where vulnerable populations were spatially clustered.

The existence of the latent variable could not be proven. However some interesting results were achieved that could be perceived as indications of relevant interrelations. Chief among these was the existence of a negative relation between the ratio of the number of work trips and the number of leisure trips generated in each zone and the general accessibility measure. This could be understood as a possible indication of the impact that accessibility can have on the ability for individuals to make normal trips, which in turn could result in social exclusion. I believe that the study was successful as a proof of concept and the initial results are encouraging enough to pursue this further with a more complete data set.

Publisher

Association for European Transport