Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Walkability = Social Capital

Speaking of the advantages of walkable neighborhoods as opposed to car culture, the USA Today GreenHouse Blog features a study whose findings it characterizes as Walkable Neighborhoods Have Happier People.  From the blog:

People who live in walkable communities are more socially engaged and trusting than those who live in less walkable areas, says a new study from the University of New Hampshire. . . . 

The researchers scored 700 residents of three communities in New Hampshire on measures of "social capital" such as socializing with friends, civic engagement and trust in their community. They found those in neighborhoods with higher Walk Score ratings reported being happier and healthier and more apt to volunteer, work on community projects or simply entertain friends at home.

The study is Examining Walkability and Social Capital as Indicators of Quality of Life at the Municipal and Neighborhood Scales, published by University of New Hampshire scholars Shannon H. Rogers, John M. Halstead, Kevin H. Gardner, and Cynthia H. Carlson in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life (2010). 

Matt Festa

Housing, Local Government, Pedestrian, Planning, Scholarship | Permalink

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