Identifying Food Swamps Based on Area-Level Socioeconomic Patterning of Retail Food Environments in Winnipeg, Canada

  • Martine Balcaen
  • Joni Storie

Abstract

A gap in Canadian food environment research concerning Winnipeg’s food swamps is addressed using geographical assessment of socio-demographic factors. Food swamp locations were identified using (1) a composite index of socioeconomic deprivation, (2) restaurant accessibility (Euclidean distance to nearest restaurant), and (3) restaurant clustering across 5740 Dissemination Blocks (DBs) in Winnipeg. Restaurants included fast food (FFR), sit-down (SDR) and coffee shop establishments combined (ALL). DBs with high deprivation levels, close restaurant access, and signi0 cant clustering of restaurants were identi0 ed as food swamps. Significant differences in restaurant access were observed between low and high socioeconomic deprivation levels, where the most socioeconomically deprived populations in Winnipeg had easier access to highly clustered restaurants. A total 3.74 km2 of Winnipeg was designated as food swamps (ALL), impacting 10,053 (1.6%) people. We conclude that a breadth of policies is required to address food security in Winnipeg, as ~65% of the food swamps coincide with food deserts or food mirages observed by Wiebe et al. (2016).

Author Biographies

Martine Balcaen

Professor

Department of Geography

University of Winnipeg

Joni Storie

Professor

Department of Geography

University of Winnipeg

Published
2018-07-10
How to Cite
BALCAEN, Martine; STORIE, Joni. Identifying Food Swamps Based on Area-Level Socioeconomic Patterning of Retail Food Environments in Winnipeg, Canada. Canadian Journal of Urban Research, [S.l.], v. 27, n. 1, p. 14-23, july 2018. ISSN 2371-0292. Available at: <http://cjur.uwinnipeg.ca/index.php/cjur/article/view/112>. Date accessed: 15 nov. 2018.