Right to transit: mapping accessibility patterns and social need in Gdańsk, Poland

Authors: Adam Radzimski*, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan
Topics: Transportation Geography, Urban Geography, Applied Geography
Keywords: accessibility, equitable transport, deprived neighborhoods, Poland
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/7/2021
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Virtual 33
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


There is a widespread view of cities as places of opportunity, but providing equitable access to opportunities, also in the geographical dimension, is a pressing challenge of our times. The role of public transport in providing access to education, employment or healthcare is widely recognized. Yet, many contemporary cities are facing a dilemma of either making public transport a universally accessible good or increasing its competitiveness against the private car. Under such a situation, the transit needs of low income and other disadvantaged residents are at risk of being underserved. This paper takes the example of the Polish city of Gdańsk (470,000 residents) to investigate the spatial patterns of social need and public transport accessibility and the relationship between them. Using a cumulative opportunity approach, it compares accessibility levels enjoyed by disadvantaged residents to the overall population. In so doing, it tries to answer the question of whether the geographic distribution of public transport accessibility is instrumental in promoting social equity. Moreover, it uses high-resolution data to identify the areas of social need with below-average accessibility levels.

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