Social Indicators Research

, Volume 137, Issue 1, pp 29–43 | Cite as

Transportation Disadvantage and Neighborhood Sociodemographics: A Composite Indicator Approach to Examining Social Inequalities

  • Rui Xiao
  • Guofeng Wang
  • Meng Wang


Transportation disadvantage refers to the barriers to or limits on the participation in daily socioeconomic and political life due to the reduced physical accessibility to services and opportunities. The transportation disadvantaged groups not only face the problems of social exclusion in location, but also experience greater exposure to a diversity of social and environmental threat. Under this context, identifying the transportation disadvantaged neighborhoods is of great interest for urban planners. This paper examines the transportation disadvantage in association with neighborhood sociodemographics in Shenzhen, China. A set of multidimensional indicators are initially selected to measure the transportation disadvantage (physical conditions, public transport services, education opportunity, employment opportunity, medical care opportunity, food opportunity, and commercial opportunity). Based on these indicators, principal component analysis produces four composite indicators of different types of transportation disadvantage: transportation disadvantage in physical infrastructure and public services, transportation disadvantage in food and education accessibility, transportation disadvantage in medical care accessibility, and transportation disadvantage in commercial and employment accessibility. In space, the transportation disadvantaged neighborhoods are generally located in the outskirts. Transportation disadvantage is more likely to be observed in neighborhoods that are economically, educationally, residentially and occupationally disadvantaged. These findings reveal significant inequalities in transportation opportunity.


Transportation disadvantage Transportation opportunity Social indicators Social inequalities Principle component analysis 



We thank two reviewers for providing valuable comments. This paper is supported by Grand Special of High resolution On Earth Observation: Application demonstration system of high resolution remote sensing and transportation (Grant No: 07-Y30B10-9001-14/16).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Remote Sensing and Information EngineeringWuhan UniversityWuhanChina
  2. 2.China Highway Engineering Consulting CorporationBeijingChina
  3. 3.Wuhan Planning and Design InstituteWuhanChina

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