This study aims to explore the effect of the neighborhood scale when estimating public services inequality based on the aggregation of social, environmental, and health-related indicators. Inequality analyses were carried out at three neighborhood scales: the original census blocks and two aggregated neighborhood units generated by the spatial “k”luster analysis by the tree edge removal (SKATER) algorithm and the self-organizing map (SOM) algorithm. Then, we combined a set of health-related public services indicators with the geographically weighted principal components analyses (GWPCA) and the principal components analyses (PCA) to measure the public services inequality across all multi-scale neighborhood units. Finally, a statistical test was applied to evaluate the scale effects in inequality measurements by combining all available field survey data. We chose Quito as the case study area. All of the aggregated neighborhood units performed better than the original census blocks in terms of the social indicators extracted from a field survey. The SKATER and SOM algorithms can help to define the neighborhoods in inequality analyses. Moreover, GWPCA performs better than PCA in multivariate spatial inequality estimation. Understanding the scale effects is essential to sustain a social neighborhood organization, which, in turn, positively affects social determinants of public health and public quality of life.
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