Saturday, June 16, 2012
Matt always does a great job of letting us know about new legal scholarship on land use issues. I am hoping to periodically alert folks to interesting articles appearing in peer reviewed journals. Here is a fun article that tells us something that many of us already thought must be true: parks are good.
Source:Landscape and Urban Planning (June 14, 2012)
The social ties between the residents of urban neighbourhoods are in decline due to changing work patterns, increased mobility and developments in communications. Neighbourhood open spaces, and green spaces in particular, provide opportunities for social interactions that may help the residents to establish recognition and develop relationships. This paper investigates the contribution of local parks to the development of social ties in inner-city neighbourhoods. Combining quantitative methods (questionnaire survey) with a qualitative approach (focus group discussions), the research was carried out in three inner-city neighbourhoods in Greater Manchester, UK, characterised by different levels of material deprivation and ethnic diversity. The social survey explored the associations between the respondents’ visits to local parks and the number of friends and acquaintances they had. The findings suggest that local parks may support the development of social ties in inner-city areas. Associations were found between the quality of the parks, the character of visits, and the extent of social ties in the neighbourhood. The study concludes that for inner-city parks to realise their full potential in supporting social interactions and developing social ties, they need to be well-maintained and provide good recreational facilities. The development of social ties was also found to be considerably affected by the characteristics of the individuals and the neighbourhood.