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Open AccessArticle

A Geospatial Analysis of Access to Ethnic Food Retailers in Two Michigan Cities: Investigating the Importance of Outlet Type within Active Travel Neighborhoods

1
Department of Geography, Planning and Environment, University of Michigan-Flint, Flint, MI 48502, USA
2
The Michigan Institute for Data Science (MIDAS), Ann Arbor, MI 48108, USA
3
The Centre for Urban Design and Mental Health, London SW9 7QF, UK
4
School for Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48108, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(1), 166; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17010166
Received: 11 October 2019 / Revised: 14 December 2019 / Accepted: 21 December 2019 / Published: 25 December 2019
To date, the research that examines food accessibility has tended to ignore ethnic food outlets. This void leaves us with a limited understanding of how such food stores may, or may not, impact food security. The study discussed herein addressed this by conducting a geospatial assessment of ethnic food outlet accessibility in two U.S. cities: Flint and Grand Rapids, Michigan. We used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) tools to create a revealed accessibility index for each food outlet, and used the index to determine access within active travel service areas. We utilized an ordinary least squares regression (OLS), and two local models: spatial autoregression (SAR) and geographically weighted regression (GWR) to enhance our understanding of global and localized relationships between outlet accessibility and type (while controlling for known covariates). The results show that the local models outperformed (R2 max = 0.938) the OLS model. The study found that there was reduced access to ethnic restaurants in all service areas of Grand Rapids. However, in Flint, we observed this association in the bicycling areas only. Also notable were the influences that demographic characteristics had on access in each city. Ultimately, the findings tell us that nuanced planning and policy approaches are needed in order to promote greater access to ethnic food outlets and reduce overall food insecurity. View Full-Text
Keywords: food access; ethnic food; service area analysis; GIS; urban design; GWR; local regression; space syntax; demographic characteristics food access; ethnic food; service area analysis; GIS; urban design; GWR; local regression; space syntax; demographic characteristics
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rybarczyk, G.; Taylor, D.; Brines, S.; Wetzel, R. A Geospatial Analysis of Access to Ethnic Food Retailers in Two Michigan Cities: Investigating the Importance of Outlet Type within Active Travel Neighborhoods. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 166. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17010166

AMA Style

Rybarczyk G, Taylor D, Brines S, Wetzel R. A Geospatial Analysis of Access to Ethnic Food Retailers in Two Michigan Cities: Investigating the Importance of Outlet Type within Active Travel Neighborhoods. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(1):166. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17010166

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rybarczyk, Greg; Taylor, Dorceta; Brines, Shannon; Wetzel, Richard. 2020. "A Geospatial Analysis of Access to Ethnic Food Retailers in Two Michigan Cities: Investigating the Importance of Outlet Type within Active Travel Neighborhoods" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 17, no. 1: 166. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17010166

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