Social Indicators Research

, Volume 86, Issue 3, pp 355–380 | Cite as

The Quality of the Urban Environment Around Public Housing Buildings in Montréal: An Objective Approach Based on GIS and Multivariate Statistical Analysis

  • Philippe ApparicioEmail author
  • Anne-Marie Séguin
  • Daniel Naud


The question of the “insertion” in space of public housing into the surrounding urban environment is not new. It has often been examined from the perspective of the social environment, but more rarely from that of the physical environment and the accessibility of public and private services and facilities. To qualify the immediate urban environment around Montréal’s public housing buildings in its complexity, we are proposing a methodological approach based on the use of several spatial databases in GIS: (1) the Montréal public housing database, (2) individual census data for the Montréal CMA, (3) a satellite image, (4) a land use map, and (5) location data on a series of public and private services and facilities. Use of these spatial data enables us to identify various combinations of advantages and disadvantages within the urban living environment in which Montréal’s public housing buildings have been located, according to three dimensions: the social environment, the physical environment, and the accessibility of services and facilities. Our final results show that only a small proportion of public housing tenants (7%) live in residual spaces, that is, in quite unattractive areas of the city which combine a number of urban disadvantages: a degraded physical environment, a high level of social deprivation, and few or no services and facilities.


Urban quality of life Geographical information systems Spatial analysis Public housing Montréal Built environment 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philippe Apparicio
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anne-Marie Séguin
    • 1
  • Daniel Naud
    • 1
  1. 1.Urbanisation, Culture et SociétéInstitut national de la recherche scientifiqueMontréalCanada

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