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Using Building Volume Per Capita (BVPC) to assess spatial inequality in Denver and surrounding counties

Authors: Tilottama Ghosh*, University of Colorado At Boulder, Paul C Sutton, University of Denver, Sharolyn J. Anderson, University of South Australia
Topics: Environmental Science, Geographic Information Science and Systems, Spatial Analysis & Modeling
Keywords: EO of SDGs; Inequality; Building Volume
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Sustainable Development Goal 10 (SDG 10) aims at reducing inequality within and among countries. Although many have been lifted out of poverty in the international community, inequality and disparities in health, education and other assets persist. In this study, we examine Building Volume Per Capita (BVPC), that is, cubic meters of building per person as a proxy measure of economic inequality and a direct measure of housing inequality. Earth Observation (EO) data in combination with demographic, and other socio-economic and statistical data are increasingly being used to monitor progress of the SDGs. At first, rasterized building volume data from building footprints, which have been delineated from aerial imagery of 2016 will be made. These data will then be juxtaposed with vector-based census demographic and economic data of 2015, and LandScan raster population count data of 2015. The National Landcover dataset (NLCD) of 2016 will be used to characterize the land cover variability of the areas studied. Using these datasets, the spatial pattern and distribution of BVPC for Denver and surrounding counties will be examined at the 500 m pixel level and census tract level. We would inspect the hypothesis that BVPC is positively related with Median Household Income and negatively related with intensity of development. If these assumptions are demonstrated to be true, BVPC as a measure of inequality could be extended, applied and tested for other study areas.

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