Creation of synthetic homogeneous neighbourhoods using zone design algorithms to explore relationships between asthma and deprivation in Strasbourg, France
The concept of ‘neighbourhood’ as a unit of analysis has received considerable research attention over the last decade. Many of these studies raise the question of the influence of local characteristics on variations in health and more recently, researchers have sought to understand how the neighbourhood can influence individual health through individual behaviour. Relatively few studies discuss the question of the borders and definition of a neighbourhood but we know that the results from health or population datasets are very sensitive to how zones are constructed – part of the Modifiable Areal Unit Problem (MAUP). In reality, we know that neighbourhoods are not constrained by artificial statistical boundaries, but rather exist as complex multi-dimensional living communities. This paper tries to better represent the reality on the ground of these communities to better inform studies of health. In this work, we have developed an experimental approach for the automated design of neighbourhoods using a small tessellated cell as a basic building block. Using the software AZTool, we considered population, shape and homogeneity constraints to develop a highly innovative approach to zone construction. The paper reports the challenges and compromises involved in building these new synthetic neighbourhoods. We provide a fully worked example of how our new synthetic homogeneous zones perform using data from Strasbourg, France. We examine data on Asthma reported through calls to the emergency services, and compare these rates with an index of multiple deprivation (NDI) which we have constructed and reported elsewhere. Higher correlations between Asthma and NDI were found using our newly constructed synthetic zones than using the existing French census areas of similar size. The significance of our work is that we show that careful construction of neighbourhoods – which we claim are more realistic than census areas – can greatly aid unpacking our understanding of neighbourhood relationships between health and the social and physical environments.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 91 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description|
|Order Information:|| Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Ann Forsyth & Mary Hearst & J. Michael Oakes & Kathryn H. Schmitz, 2008. "Design and Destinations: Factors Influencing Walking and Total Physical Activity," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 45(9), pages 1973-1996, August.
- Antonello D'Agostino & Kieran McQuinn & Derry O’Brien, 2012. "Nowcasting Irish GDP," OECD Journal: Journal of Business Cycle Measurement and Analysis, OECD Publishing, Centre for International Research on Economic Tendency Surveys, vol. 2012(2), pages 21-31.
- van den Berg, Agnes E. & Maas, Jolanda & Verheij, Robert A. & Groenewegen, Peter P., 2010. "Green space as a buffer between stressful life events and health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 70(8), pages 1203-1210, April.
- Sundquist, Kristina & Theobald, Holger & Yang, Min & Li, Xinjun & Johansson, Sven-Erik & Sundquist, Jan, 2006. "Neighborhood violent crime and unemployment increase the risk of coronary heart disease: A multilevel study in an urban setting," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(8), pages 2061-2071, April.
- Sundquist, Kristina & Lindström, Martin & Malmström, Marianne & Johansson, Sven-Erik & Sundquist, Jan, 2004. "Social participation and coronary heart disease: a follow-up study of 6900 women and men in Sweden," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 615-622, February.
- A S Fotheringham & D W S Wong, 1991. "The Modifiable Areal Unit Problem in Multivariate Statistical Analysis," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 23(7), pages 1025-1044, July.
- Stafford, Mai & Duke-Williams, Oliver & Shelton, Nicola, 2008. "Small area inequalities in health: Are we underestimating them?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 67(6), pages 891-899, September.
- repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2004.058040_8 is not listed on IDEAS
- S Openshaw & L Rao, 1995. "Algorithms for reengineering 1991 Census geography," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 27(3), pages 425-446, March.
- Samantha Cockings & Andrew Harfoot & David Martin & Duncan Hornby, 2011. "Maintaining existing zoning systems using automated zone-design techniques: methods for creating the 2011 Census output geographies for England and Wales," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 43(10), pages 2399-2418, October.
- S Openshaw & R S Baxter, 1977. "Algorithm 3: A Procedure to Generate Pseudo-Random Aggregations of N Zones into M Zones, Where M is Less Than N," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 9(12), pages 1423-1428, December.
- Cockings, Samantha & Martin, David, 2005. "Zone design for environment and health studies using pre-aggregated data," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 60(12), pages 2729-2742, June.
- Dahlgren, Göran & Whitehead, Margaret, 1991. "Policies and strategies to promote social equity in health. Background document to WHO - Strategy paper for Europe," Arbetsrapport 2007:14, Institute for Futures Studies.
- Juhn, Young J. & Sauver, Jennifer St. & Katusic, Slavica & Vargas, Delfino & Weaver, Amy & Yunginger, John, 2005. "The influence of neighborhood environment on the incidence of childhood asthma: a multilevel approach," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 60(11), pages 2453-2464, June.
- repec:esr:wpaper:rsnote2012/3/1 is not listed on IDEAS
- David Briggs & Daniela Fecht & Kees de Hoogh, 2007. "Census data issues for epidemiology and health risk assessment: experiences from the Small Area Health Statistics Unit," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 170(2), pages 355-378.
- S Openshaw & L Rao, 1995. "Algorithms for Reengineering 1991 Census Geography," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 27(3), pages 425-446, March.
- repec:aph:ajpbhl:2004:94:4:625-632_4 is not listed on IDEAS
- David Martin & Abigail Nolan & Mark Tranmer, 2001. "The application of zone-design methodology in the 2001 UK Census," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 33(11), pages 1949-1962, November.
- Flowerdew, Robin & Manley, David J. & Sabel, Clive E., 2008. "Neighbourhood effects on health: Does it matter where you draw the boundaries?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(6), pages 1241-1255, March.
- Diez-Roux, Ana V. & Link, Bruce G. & Northridge, Mary E., 2000. "A multilevel analysis of income inequality and cardiovascular disease risk factors," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 673-687, March.
- A S Fotheringham & D W S Wong, 1991. "The modifiable areal unit problem in multivariate statistical analysis," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 23(7), pages 1025-1044, July.
- Macintyre, Sally & Ellaway, Anne & Cummins, Steven, 2002. "Place effects on health: how can we conceptualise, operationalise and measure them?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 125-139, July.
- Havard, Sabrina & Deguen, Séverine & Bodin, Julie & Louis, Karine & Laurent, Olivier & Bard, Denis, 2008. "A small-area index of socioeconomic deprivation to capture health inequalities in France," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 67(12), pages 2007-2016, December.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:91:y:2013:i:c:p:110-121. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.