Comparing two distance measures in the spatial mapping of food deserts: The case of Petržalka, Slovakia

Open access


Over the last twenty years or so, researchers’ attention to the issue of food deserts has increased in the geographical literature. Accessibility to large-scale retail units is one of the essential and frequently-used indicators leading to the identification and mapping of food deserts. Numerous accessibility measures of various types are available for this purpose. Euclidean distance and street network distance rank among the most frequently-used approaches, although they may lead to slightly different results. The aim of this paper is to compare various approaches to the accessibility to food stores and to assess the differences in the results gained by these methods. Accessibility was measured for residential block centroids, with applications of various accessibility measures in a GIS environment. The results suggest a strong correspondence between Euclidean distance and a little more accurate street network distance approach, applied in the case of the urban environment of Bratislava-Petržalka, Slovakia.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • ANDREYEVA T. BLUMENTHAL D. M. SCHWARTZ M. B. LONG M. W. BROWNELL K. D. (2008): Availability and prices of foods across stores and neighbourhoods: the case of New Haven Connecticut. Health Affairs 27(5): 1381–1388.

  • APPARICIO P. ABDELMAJID M. RIVA M. SHEARMUR R. (2008): Comparing alternative approaches to measuring the geographical accessibility of urban health services: Distance types and aggregation-error issues. International Journal of Health Geographics 7(1): 7.

  • APPARICIO P. CLOUTIER M. S. SHEARMUR R. (2007): The case of Montréal's missing food deserts: Evaluation of accessibility to food supermarkets. International Journal of Health Geographics 6(1): 4.

  • BARNES T. L. FREEDMAN D. A. BELL B. A. COLABIANCHI N. LIESE A. D. (2016): Geographic measures of retail food outlets and perceived availability of healthy foods in neighbourhoods. Public Health Nutrition 19(8): 1368–1374.

  • BILKOVÁ K. KRIŽAN F. BARLÍK P. (2016): Consumers preferences of shopping centers in Bratislava (Slovakia). Human Geographies – Journal of Studies and Research in Human Geography 10(1): 23–37.

  • BUČEK J. KOREC P. [eds.] (2013): Moderná humánna geografia mesta Bratislava: priestorové štruktúry siete a procesy. Bratislava Univerzita Komenského.

  • BUDZYNSKA K. WEST P. SAVOY-MOORE R. T. LINDSEY D. WINTER M. NEWBY P. K. (2013): A food desert in Detroit: associations with food shopping and eating behaviours dietary intakes and obesity. Public Health Nutrition 16(12): 2114–2123.

  • CASPI C. E. SORENSEN G. SUBRAMANIAN S. V. KAWACHI I. (2012): The local food environment and diet: a systematic review. Health & Place 18(5): 1172–1187.

  • CLIQUET G. (2006): Geomarketing: Methods and strategies in spatial marketing. London Wiley (ISTE).

  • CROMLEY E. MCLAFFERTY S. (2002): GIS and public health. New York Guilford Press.

  • CUMMINS S. MACINTYRE S. (1999): The location of food stores in urban areas: A case study in Glasgow. British Food Journal 101(7): 545–553.

  • CUMMINS S. MACINTYRE S. (2002): A systematic study of an urban foodscape: the price and availability of food in Greater Glasgow. Urban Studies 39(11): 2115–2130.

  • FARBER S. MORANG M. Z. WIDENER M. J. (2014): Temporal variability in transit-based accessibility to supermarkets. Applied Geography 53: 149–159.

  • GLANZ K. (2009): Measuring food environments: a historical perspective. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 36(4): S93–S98.

  • GLANZ K. BADER M. IYER S. (2012): Retail grocery store marketing strategies and obesity: an integrative review. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 42(5): 503–512.

  • GLANZ K. JOHNSON L. YAROCH A. L. PHILLIPS M. AYALA G. X. DAVIS E. L. (2016): Measures of retail food store environments and sales: review and implications for healthy eating initiatives. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior 48(4): 280–288.

  • GOODCHILD M. (1987): A spatial analytical perspective on geographical information systems. International Journal of Geographical Information Systems 1(4): 327–334.

  • GUSTAFSON A CHRISTIAN J. W. LEWIS S. MOORE K. JILCOTT S. (2013): Food venue choice consumer food environment but not food venue availability within daily travel patterns are associated with dietary intake among adults Lexington Kentucky 2011. Nutrition Journal 12(1): 17.

  • GUY C. M. DAVID G. (2004): Measuring geographical access to ‘healthy foods’ in areas of social deprivation: a case study in Cardiff. International Journal of Consumer Studies 28(3): 222–224.

  • HANDY S. NIEMEIER D. (1997): Measuring accessibility: an exploration of issues and alternatives. Environment and Planning A 29(7): 1175–1194.

  • HENDRICKSON D. SMITH C. EIKENBERRY N. (2006): Fruit and vegetable access in four low-income food deserts communities in Minnesota. Agriculture and Human Values 23(3): 371–383.

  • CHARREIRE H. CASEY R. SALZE P. SIMON C. CHAIX B. BANOS A. BADARIOTTI D. WEBER C. OPPERT J. M. (2010): Measuring the food environment using geographical information systems: a methodological review. Public Health Nutrition 13(11): 1773–1785.

  • CHEN X. CLARK J. (2015): Measuring Space–Time Access to Food Retailers: A Case of Temporal Access Disparity in Franklin County Ohio. The Professional Geographer 68(2): 175–188.

  • JASKIEWICZ L. BLOCK D. CHAVEZ N. (2016): Finding Food Deserts A Comparison of Methods Measuring Spatial Access to Food Stores. Health Promotion Practice 17(3): 400–407.

  • KRIŽAN F. BILKOVÁ K. KITA P. (2014): Urban retail market in Bratislava (Slovakia): Consumers perception and classification of shopping centres. Management and Marketing 9(4): 483–500.

  • KRIŽAN F. BILKOVÁ K. KITA P. HORŇÁK M. (2015): Potential food deserts and food oases in a post-communist city: Access quality variability and price of food in Bratislava-Petržalka. Applied Geography 62: 8–18.

  • KRIŽAN F. BILKOVÁ K. KITA P. SIVIČEK T. (2016): Transformation of retailing in post-communist Slovakia in the context of globalization. E & M: Ekonomie a Management 19(1): 148–164.

  • LARSEN K. GILLILAND J. (2008): Mapping the evolution of' food deserts' in a Canadian city: Supermarket accessibility in London Ontario 1961–2005. International Journal of Health Geographics 7(1): 16.

  • LEDOUX T. F. VOJNOVIC I. (2013): Going outside the neighbourhood: The shopping patterns and adaptations of disadvantaged consumers living in the lower eastside neighbourhoods of Detroit Michigan. Health & Place 19: 1–14.

  • LEETE L. BANIA N. SPARKS-IBANGA A. (2012): Congruence and Coverage Alternative Approaches to Identifying Urban Food Deserts and Food Hinterlands. Journal of Planning Education and Research 32(2): 204–218.

  • LYTLE L. A. (2009): Measuring the food environment: state of the science. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 36(4): S134–S144.

  • LYTLE L. A. SOKOL R. L. (2017): Measures of the food environment: A systematic review of the field 2007–2015. Health & Place 44: 18–34.

  • MARYÁŠ J. KUNC J. TONEV P. SZCZYRBA Z. (2014): Shopping and Services Related Travel in the Hinterland of Brno: Changes from the Socialist Period to the Present. Moravian Geographical Reports 22(3): 18–28.

  • MCENTEE J. AGYEMAN J. (2010): Towards the development of a GIS method for identifying rural food deserts: Geographic access in Vermont USA. Applied Geography 30: 165–176.

  • MCKINNON R. A. REEDY J. MORRISSETTE M. A. LYTLE L. A. YAROCH A. L. (2009): Measures of the food environment: a compilation of the literature 1990–2007. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 36(4): S124–S133.

  • MINAKER L. M. RAINE K. D. WILD T. C. NYKIFORUK C. I. THOMPSON M. E. FRANK L. D. (2013): Objective food environments and health outcomes. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 45(3): 289–296.

  • MLÁDEK J. (1994): Trade utilities and its perception by Petržalka inhibitants. Acta Facultatis Rerum Naturalium Universitatis Comenianae Geographica 34(1): 95–110.

  • MOORE L. V. ROUX A. V. D. BRINES S. (2008): Comparing perception-based and geographic information system (GIS)-based characterizations of the local food environment. Journal of Urban Health 85(2): 206–216.

  • MULROONEY T. BERATAN K. MCGINN C. BRANCH B. (2017): A comparison of raster-based travel time surfaces against vector-based network calculations as applied in the study of rural food deserts. Applied Geography 78: 12–21.

  • NOVOTNÝ L. (2016): Urban development and migration processes in the urban region of Bratislava from the post-socialist transformation until the global economic crisis. Urban Geography 37(7): 1009–1029.

  • PINARD C. A. SHANKS C. B. HARDEN S. M. YAROCH A. L. (2016): An integrative literature review of small food store research across urban and rural communities in the US. Preventive Medicine Reports 3: 324–332.

  • RAJA S. MA C. YADAV P. (2008): Beyond food deserts: measuring and mapping racial disparities in neighbourhood food environments. Journal of Planning Education and Research 27(4): 469–482.

  • REISIG V. HOBBISS A. (2000): Food deserts and how to tackle them: a study of one city’s approach. Health Education Journal 59(2): 137–149.

  • SADLER R. GILLILAND J. ARKU G. (2013): Community development and the influence of new food retail sources on the price and availability of nutritious food. Journal of Urban Affairs 35(4): 471–491.

  • SADLER R. GILLILAND J. ARKU G. (2016): Theoretical issues in the ‘food desert’ debate and ways forward. GeoJournal 81(3): 443–455.

  • SEIDENGLANZ D. KVIZDA M. NIGRIN T. TOMEŠ Z. DUJKA J. (2016): Czechoslovak light rail—Legacy of socialist urbanism or opportunity for the future? Journal of Transport Geography 54: 414–429.

  • SHANNON J. (2014): Food deserts Governing obesity in the neoliberal city. Progress in Human Geography 38(2): 248–266.

  • SHANNON J. (2015): Rethinking Food Deserts Using Mixed-Methods GIS. Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research 17(1): 85–96.

  • SHAW H. (2006): Food Deserts: Towards the Development of a Classification. Geografiska Annaler Series B: Human Geography 88(2): 231–247.

  • SHORT A. GUTHMAN J. RASKIN S. (2007): Food Deserts Oases or Mirages?: Small Markets and Community Food Security in the San Francisco Bay Area. Journal of Planning Education and Research 26(3): 352–364.

  • SINHA A. (2000): Understanding supermarket competition using choice maps. Marketing Letters 11(1): 21–35.

  • SMOYER-TOMIC K. SPENCE J. AMRHEIN C. (2006): Food deserts in the Prairies? Supermarket accessibility and neighborhood need in Edmonton Canada. The Professional Geographer 58(3): 307–326.

  • SPARKS A. BANIA N. LEETE L. (2011): Comparative Approaches to Measuring Food Access in Urban Areas The Case of Portland Oregon. Urban Studies 48(8): 1715–1737.

  • SPIŠIAK P. (1994): Alimentary facilities of Petržalka. Acta Facultatis Rerum Naturalium Universitatis Comenianae Geographica 34(1): 23–32.

  • ŠVEDA M. PODOLÁK P. (2014): Fenomén neúplnej evidencie migrácie v suburbánnej zóne (na príklade zázemia Bratislavy). Geografický časopis 66(2): 115–132.

  • TÓTH V. (2012): Urban development of Bratislava: Suburbanization in years 1995–2009. Revija za geografijo-Journal for Geography 7(2): 115–126.

  • VALE D. S. SARAIVA M. PEREIRA M. (2015): Active accessibility: A review of operational measures of walking and cycling accessibility. Journal of Transport and Land Use 9(1): 1–27.

  • VOJNOVIC I. KOTVAL K. Z. LEE J. YE M. LEDOUX T. VARNAKOVIDA P. MESSINA J. (2014): Urban built environments accessibility and travel behaviour in a declining urban core: The extreme conditions of disinvestment and suburbanization in the Detroit region. Journal of Urban Affairs 36(2): 225–255.

  • WALKER R. E. BLOCK J. KAWACHI I. (2012): Do residents of food deserts express different food buying preferences compared to residents of food oases? A mixed-methods analysis. International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity 9(41): 1–13.

  • WALKER R. FRYER C. S. BUTLER J. KEANE C. R. KRISKA A. BURKE J. G. (2011): Factors influencing food buying practices in residents of a low-income food desert and a low-income food oasis. Journal of Mixed Methods Research 5(3): 247–267.

  • WALKER R. KEANE C. BURKE J. (2010): Disparities and access to healthy food in the United States: A review of food deserts literature. Health & Place 16(5): 876–884.

  • WIDENER M. J. (2017): Comparing Measures of Accessibility to Urban Supermarkets for Transit and Auto Users. The Professional Geographer 69(3): 362–371. DOI: 10.1080/00330124.2016.1237293

  • WIDENER M. J. SHANNON J. (2014): When are food deserts? Integrating time into research on food accessibility. Health & Place 30: 1–3.

  • WIDENER M. J. FARBER S. NEUTENS T. HORNER M. (2015): Spatiotemporal accessibility to supermarkets using public transit: an interaction potential approach in Cincinnati Ohio. Journal of Transport Geography 42: 72–83.

  • WIDENER M. J. MINAKER L. FARBER S. ALLEN J. VITALI B. COLEMAN P. C. COOK B. (2017): How do changes in the daily food and transportation environments affect grocery store accessibility?. Applied Geography 83: 46–62.

  • WRIGLEY N. (2002): ‘Food deserts’ in British cities: policy context and research priorities. Urban Studies 39(11): 2029–2040.

  • ZENK S. SCHULZ A. HOLLIS-NEELY T. et al. (2005): Fruit and vegetable intake in African Americans income and store characteristics. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 29(1): 1–9.

Journal information
Impact Factor

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 1.870
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.858

CiteScore 2018: 2.07

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.445
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.877

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 272 133 9
PDF Downloads 169 84 9