Examining the relationship between urban density and sense of community in the Greater Vancouver Regional District

The journal Cities has just published my article “Examining the relationship between urban density and sense of community in the Greater Vancouver Regional District”.  This article captured the better part of my literature review and the quantitative portion from my thesis.  Here’s the abstract:

This study investigated whether highly dense urban environments have a negative influence on residents’ sense of community. It used an online survey to measure respondents’ sense of community and compared it to the density of the areas in which they live. Findings of this study suggest that urban density has a negative but weak relationship with sense of community among survey respondents. They also suggest that providing some types of public space may encourage higher levels of sense of community among residents in high-density areas.

Here’s a link to the article:  Examining the relationship between urban density and sense of community in the Greater Vancouver Regional District

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An improved test for neighborhood sense of community

I’ve recently published “An improved test for neighborhood sense of community” in the Journal of Community Psychology.  The article outlines a methodology used to test sense of neighborhood community. It includes a review of recent studies that tested for sense of community, makes an argument for a new test, and provides results showing that this new test represents an improvement over previous ones.  You can find it here.

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.

Continue reading “How to organize a community potluck: An interview with Lindsay Wells”

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.

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

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.

Continue reading “How to start a neighbourhood association: An interview with Derek Doherty”