Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Geography & Environmental Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Robert Sharpe

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


The study of accessibility is commonly utilized to further the social equity debate. However, the accessibility literature is ingrained with, and perpetuates, a form of spatial error; aggregation error. The presence of this spatial error severely hinders the applicability of accessibility research in the study of our environment. This thesis seeks to eliminate forms of spatial error from the study of accessibility through the use of comprehensive high resolution spatial information. A service accessibility study is undertaken utilizing origin data collected at the parcel level, while destinations are represented by a diverse and detailed database identifying businesses which cater to the personal needs of the resident. This high resolution data is used in the construction of a residential accessibility model for the City of Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. Accessibility is calculated for individual categories of service (37) and cumulatively throughout the study area. Additionally, accessibility is derived using two distinct distance measures; minimum distance and travel cost. Given the relative uniqueness of this approach, the resultant model is used to evaluate the form of urban accessibility with respect to that found throughout the literature. It is found that form of accessibility, when calculated at various levels of aggregation, will deviate from the classic distance decay model prevalent throughout the literature.

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Convocation Season