Improving the Accessibility to Public Schools in Urban Areas of Developing Countries Through a Location Model and an Analytical Framework

Authors: Jésica de Armas Adrián, Helena Ramalhinho Lourenço and Marta Reynal-Querol

PloS One, Vol. 17, No 1, January, 2022

The location of primary public schools in urban areas of developing countries is the focus of this study. In such areas, new schools and modification of the current schools are required, and this process should be developed using rational and broad supporting tools for decision makers, such as optimization models. We propose a realistic coverage location model and a framework to analyze the location of schools. Our approach considers the existing schools and their resizing, the best locations of the new schools that may have different capacities, population coverage, walking distances and budget provisions for building and updating schools. As a case study, we assess the current primary school network in Ciudad Benito Juarez to provide managerial insights. Through the proposed framework, we analyze the current locations of schools and decisions to be made by considering future scenarios in different time periods. The proposed model is quite flexible and easy to adapt to new considerations, allowing it to be applied to regions in developing countries under similar conditions.