Estimating Access to Employment Opportunities in Dhaka, Bangladesh

by Rajee Kanagavel
Mapbox Jobs and Development

Challenge: Poor transport facilities and infrastructure are a major hindrance to Bangladesh’s economic development. The road network in Dhaka is severely congested. The driving duration to get from one place to another in a road network has traditionally been extrapolated by assigning a driving speed to each road class. While this approach has produced sensible travel time estimates, the highly congested nature of Dhaka means that solely using expected road speeds would result in exaggerated accessibility scores.

Mapbox Dhaka analysis

Solution: The spatial patterns in access to employment opportunities in the city of Dhaka are identified using Mapbox data. The estimation of accessibility to employment centers is refined by adjusting travel times with additional data on traffic congestion. Incorporating the traffic speeds into access estimates is an important inclusion in urban analyses. Even in Bangladesh, with “limited predictability of travel times”, most major roads with some indication of current speed were estimated.

Impact: The availability of jobs is focused in the downtown core; however, the distribution of that access varies across space and between gender. There is a shift of accessibility of jobs north-west of the city core for women, with the northern part of the city showing much higher access for women than for men. The corresponding discrepancy for men shows the southern part of the city with much higher job availability.