Thursday, July 11, 2013

Knudsen & Clark on How Walkable Neighborhoods Affect Social Movements

Brian Knudsen & Terry Clark (Chicago) have published Walk and Be Moved: How Walking Builds Social Movements (Urban Affairs Review).  Here's the abstract:

Recent scholarship recognizes the city’s role as “civitas”—a “space of active democratic citizenship” and “full human realization” based on open and free encounter and exchange with difference. The current research emerges from and fills a need within this perspective by examining how local urban contexts undergird and bolster social movement organizations (SMOs). Our theory elaborates and linear regressions assess the relationships between four urban form variables and SMOs. In addition, our theory also examines how urban walking mediates the relationships between these local contextual traits and SMOs. Drawing primarily from the ZIP Code Business Patterns and U.S. Census, we generate a data set of approximately 30,000 cases, permitting regression analyses that distinguish strong direct effects of density, connectivity, housing age diversity, and walking on the incidence of SMOs. Sobel tests indicate that for density and connectivity, walking mediates the relationships with SMOs in a way consistent with the mechanisms of the hypotheses.

Steve Clowney

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