Analysing the impact of network change on transport disadvantage: a GIS-based case study of Belfast

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

policy - social exclusion, policy - equity, place - europe, technology - geographic information systems


Network change, Low-income, Disadvantage, Methodology, GIS, Belfast


This paper reports on recently completed academic research that examined the relationship between network transformation and transport disadvantage. Whilst the research study encompassed a variety of social groups including women, young adults and elderly people this paper specifically details the experience of low-income households. With an emphasis on methodology, the paper proposes a multi-phased method for evaluating the impact of change in urban areas. By using qualitative and quantitative methods, including the modelling of geographic information, the research tests a model for implementing and on-going monitoring of network change. The Belfast experience demonstrates how network transformation can have differentiated impacts, with the argument that these could have been mitigated by more fully understanding the implications arising from change. The lesson to be applied elsewhere is that ‘unintended consequences’ are a matter to be considered by policy makers, if possible before transformation occurs rather than working in the aftermath.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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