Sense of Community Survey – Some initial findings

We are pleased to present some initial findings from the Sense of Community Survey.  The following images show a table of correlations for the primary questions posed by the study, graphs related to these correlations  (top of Y-axes and right of X-axes represent higher values), and maps that provide a spatial view of the sense of community scores.  We will suggest interpretations of this data in a later post.  If you would like to share your own interpretations now, though, please do so in the comments.

Results of Sense of Community Survey
Relationship of sense of community score and population density (people per square kilometer)
Relationship of sense of community score and population density at the very low density quintile
Relationship of sense of community score and population density at the low density quintile
Relationship of sense of community score and population density at the medium density quintile
Relationship of sense of community score and population density at the high density quintile
Relationship of sense of community score and population density at the very high density quintile
Relationship of sense of community score and population density for families with children aged 5-9
Relationship of sense of community score and use of various public spaces
Relationship of sense of community score and interaction in various public spaces
Relationship of sense of community score and feelings of crowding
Relationship of sense of community score and feelings of safety
Relationship of density and feelings of crowding
Relationship of density and feelings of safety
Range of scores for feelings of crowding shown by housing type (1=single-family detached; 2=low-rise attached; 3=low-rise apartment; 4=high-rise apartment)
Range of scores for feelings of safety shown by housing type (1=single-family detached; 2=low-rise attached; 3=low-rise apartment; 4=high-rise apartment)
Downtown and Kitsilano areas showing postal codes representing the sense of community scores for survey respondents (green is higher, red is lower, scores are averaged for postal codes with multiple respondents) and dissemination areas representing density (darker is denser).
Klahanie and surrounding areas showing postal codes representing the sense of community scores for survey respondents (green is higher, red is lower, scores are averaged for postal codes with multiple respondents) and dissemination areas representing density (darker is denser).
University of British Columbia and nearby area showing postal codes representing the sense of community scores for survey respondents (green is higher, red is lower, scores are averaged for postal codes with multiple respondents) and dissemination areas representing density (darker is denser).

November 3, 2019 edit in response to comment asking for SOC score for Hampton Place:

Here are the SOC scores for postal codes within Hampton Place (UBC):  Note that V6T 2H1 is a composite score of 9 responses (and scores 3/4 of a standard deviation better than the survey average), whereas the others represent single responses.  Lower scores represent higher SOC scores (due to the way the questions were structured).

For comparison, here is a graphic showing all SOC scores for postal codes of respondents (and compare to the map above), sorted in descending order of density (some responses were outside of the target study range and do not have density values listed).

How to organize a community potluck: An interview with Lindsay Wells

Lindsay Wells is a resident of the Acadia Park neighbourhood—the student family housing area at the University of British Columbia (UBC).  She is also a Community Assistant (CA)—a part time position with UBC’s Student Housing and Hospitality Services.  One of her responsibilities is to host the monthly Acadia Park potluck dinners.  I asked what the secrets are to hosting a successful neighbourhood potluck.  Here’s what she had to say.

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How to start and maintain an online neighbourhood discussion group: An interview with Teresa Douglas

Teresa Douglas is a moderator of the Facebook group for the Acadia Park neighbourhood at the University of British Columbia, and was instrumental in establishing the group.  I asked her to share her thoughts about how to start and maintain an online neighbourhood discussion group.

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How to start a neighbourhood association: An interview with Derek Doherty

I asked Derek Doherty about his experience of starting a neighbourhood association.  Derek lives in Acadia Park, the student family housing section of the University of British Columbia (UBC) campus.  He was one of the founding members of the Acadia Park Residents’ Association.  Here’s what he had to say.

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Whose job is it to build sense of community?

In past posts, we’ve considered such topics as ‘What is community?’, ‘What is sense of community?’, ‘What is the value of sense of community?’, ‘How can we measure sense of community?’, and ‘What factors influence sense of community?’  What we have not yet discussed is ‘Who should build sense of community?’  We may want to have a stronger sense of community in our group or neighbourhood, but who is responsible for actually making this happen?  Whose job is it to build sense of community?

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How can we build sense of community?

Several studies have discussed the mental, emotional, and societal benefits of having a strong sense of community.  But, what can we do to strengthen sense of community?  Is just something you either naturally have or don’t have?  Is it a product of our past experience?  Is it influenced by where and how we live?  Can the design of a neighbourhood influence the sense of community of its residents?  We could sum up all of these questions by asking, “What factors influence people’s sense of community?”  Several researchers have tried to find out.  Here are some of the relationships they’ve found—some positive, some negative, some a bit of both.

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How strong is your sense of community (and how do you know)?

How strong is your sense of community?  You might say, “Oh, pretty strong, I guess,” or, “Not very.”  But, could you be more specific?  It would be hard, wouldn’t it?

It would be even harder to tell if people in one town or one neighbourhood have a stronger sense of community than those in another.  Before we can even think about why people in one community are more attached to it than those in another, we need some way to measure this attachment, this sense of community.  So, is there a way to measure it?

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