Perceived accessibility: What it is and why it differs from calculated accessibility measures based on spatial data

Felix Johan Pot, Bert van Wee, Taede Tillema

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Accessibility is usually evaluated using indicators calculated from spatial data. However, perceived accessibility, defined as the perceived potential to participate in spatially dispersed opportunities, is often poorly reflected by these calculated measures. This paper sets out to explain the mechanisms that lead to these mismatches. A conceptual model is constructed to establish what factors shape perceived accessibility. A schematic framework shows that mismatches between a calculated indicator and perceptions can stem from inaccuracies in awareness as well as from inaccuracies in the measure if the measure fails to take account of the subjective evaluations of accessibility components. When evaluating the performance of land-use and transport system configurations, calculated measures based on spatial and transport data only serve as proxies for how accessibility is actually experienced. This paper argues that bringing perceived accessibility to the fore of accessibility-based planning, by acknowledging and evaluating potential mismatches with calculated accessibility indicators, will advance the evolution from mobility-based to accessibility-based planning.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103090
JournalJournal of Transport Geography
Volume94
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Accessibility
  • Conceptual model
  • Perceived accessibility
  • Policy evaluation
  • Transport planning

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