Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Taylor Shelton

Second Advisor

Dajun Dai

Third Advisor

Katherine Hankins


Banking and credit are necessary to build wealth, but they are unequally available across space, race, and class. Research on the spatial distribution of financial services indicates a robust pattern of banks retreating from low-income and predominantly minority communities to be replaced by alternative financial services (AFS); however, the methods used to measure and visualize the availability of services create different spatial imaginaries of financial exclusion that alter understandings of urban inequality. This project examines disparities in access to financial services in Atlanta area using five geospatial accessibility estimates. Locations for bank branches and alternative services are used to calculate Census tract-level access to each service category and then visualized to identify areas with poor financial access - areas underserved by traditional banks or overserved by alternatives. More complex spatial estimations provide smoother visualizations and more significant statistics, yet the simplest metric emphasizes the stark, disjointed nature of structural inequality.


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