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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Teresa Douglas is a resident of the Acadia Park neighbourhood at the University of British Columbia campus in Vancouver, Canada. She led an effort to install two “Little Free Libraries” in her neighbourhood. I asked her about her experience.
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.
I asked Derek Doherty about his experience organizing community projects for his neighbourhood, Acadia Park, the student family housing area at the University of British Columbia (UBC). He offered the following suggestions. I thought they were very useful.
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.