Accessibility plays a fundamental role in public policies. One of the main goals of decision makers is to promote equal access of the population to critical infrastructures. However, different accessibility approaches (e.g. method of aggregation) lead to different conclusions to the same case study; moreover, what is a good measure of accessibility and how to apply it in practice is a question to be answered. This study presents a new approach to assess accessibility in a link-based. One of the goals of this work is to show that a link-based assessment is more useful to policy strategies than a catchment area based assessments that have been widely used. The methodology is applied to the accessibility assessment of the parishes to the District Hospitals in the Central Region (Portugal); the link and polygon based approaches are carried out and compared. Results demonstrate that a link-based analysis allows the identification of accessibility gaps across geographical areas and population groups. The accessibility in a catchment area basis can cover up some shortcomings in the service (in this case the hospitals) provided to the population. The work here presented can be useful for politicians and technicians, since it allows to accurately identify unserved and underserved areas.
- Geographic information systems
- Gravity model
- Health services
- Spatial resolution