Planning Social Capital: New Uranism in the Formation of Social Interaction, Social Connection, and Community Satisfaction
AuthorCabrera, Joseph Fredrick
Committee ChairGalaskiewicz, Joseph
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractOver the past fifty or so years there has been a well examined decline in socialconnections and many other facets of American communities (Fischer 1982; Putnam2000; Freeman 2001; McPherson, Smith-Lovin, & Brashears 2006; Dunham-Jones &Williamson 2009). New urbanism has been proposed as a tool to reverse some of thissocial decline in communities. This study seeks to understand the possible socialconnective benefits of new urbanism in a number of ways. First, a new urbanistcommunity is compared to a similar adjacent community that also happens to betraditional suburban community. The study examines differences between the twocommunities in terms of social connections, social interactions, and communitysatisfaction. Second, the study examines individual design elements of new urbanism to understand their relationships with social interactions and social connections. This study also examines community cohesion in terms of diverse social interactions and bridging ties. Previous studies suggest that bridging ties are more likely to be formed between persons who are connected with weaker social bonds (Granovetter, 1973) as well as persons who interact through spontaneous rather than planned forms of social interaction (Molm, Collett, & Schaefer 2007). Lastly, this study seeks to understand if any of the new urbanist design strategies examined are related to bridging ties. The findings of this study suggested that new urbanist communities do have more social interactions, social connections, and community satisfaction than do traditional suburban communities. The findings also suggested that four new urbanist design strategies: porches, community meetings, and mixed-use zoning are positively related to social interactions and social connections. Moreover, findings suggested that persons connected by weaker social bonds are indeed more likely to have bridging ties, however, they did not support the idea that persons who have more spontaneous interactions will also be more likely to have bridging ties. Lastly, the findings indicated that of all the new urbanist design strategies, only the neighborhood business center was positively related to bridging ties. Conversely, a negative relationship was found between resident's who use their porches and bridging ties.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Arizona
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