Although many previous studies have identified inequalities among children based on various neighborhood characteristics, it is still difficult to determine what is most needed for individual neighborhoods to support child development at an early age, and for providing public interventions and appropriate resources to meet the diverse and urgent needs of young children. This study proposes a tool to measure the proximity to basic service amenities for preschool children of their distance from home in order to enhance overall neighborhoods' economic and social sustainability for young children. The proposed three-zone Neighborhood Units for Preschool Children (NUPCs) conceptualize the general area that constitutes a preschool child's environment, and proximity to service amenities in four major categories was analyzed: (1) childcare and educational services, (2) outdoor play spaces, (3) healthcare services, and (4) cultural and welfare services. The Neighborhood Deprivation Index for Preschool Children (NDIPC) was analyzed for 36 sample administrative districts (ADs) in Seoul, South Korea, to determine the geographic demand for major service amenities for each NUPC within the ADs. This neighborhood sustainability measure based on the NUPC and NDIPC has revealed that the distribution of service amenities for preschool children is unequal and insufficient in many ADs and in varied categories. Neighborhoods with relatively high NDIPC scores will require further investigation, and public intervention will be needed to provide major service amenities based on urgent need.
- Preschool children