Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Trees, Green Space Foster Social Ties Among Families In Urban Housing

Date:
May 10, 1999
Source:
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign
Summary:
Having grass and trees that are easily visible and readily accessible helps to grow social ties and a sense of community among residents in low-income, inner-city housing, University of Illinois researchers say.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Having grass and trees that are easily visible and readily accessible helps to grow social ties and a sense of community among residents in low-income, inner-city housing, University of Illinois researchers say.

For families living in poverty, an important survival strategy is to share resources in larger social networks. Because common spaces with trees and grass bring people closer together, the addition of simple landscaping may promote this informal form of social security and reduce the reliance on costly social services, the scientists suggest in a recent issue of the American Journal of Community Psychology.

Focusing on 145 female residents -- all heads of household -- of the Robert Taylor Homes in Chicago, researchers looked closely at the relationship between the "greenness of common space" and neighborhood social ties.

The housing unit offers a good laboratory for such studies because of its setting in one of the nation's poorest urban neighborhoods. Residents are similar in income, education and life circumstances. Landscaping between the 28 identically structured high-rise buildings varies from pavement to dirt to grass and to grass and trees. Because apartments are assigned solely on the basis of a family's space requirement, there is no reason to think there is anything special about residents who end up with housing near green spaces.

"In this study, we found that the more vegetation in a common space, the stronger the neighborhood social ties near that space," wrote Frances E. Kuo, William Sullivan and Liesette Brunson of the U. of I. and Rebekah Levine Coley of the University of Chicago. "Compared to residents living adjacent to relatively barren spaces, individuals living adjacent to greener common spaces had more social activities and more visitors, knew more of their neighbors, reported their neighbors were more concerned with helping and supporting one another, and had stronger feelings of belonging."

Why? Trees and grass seem to draw residents outside, the authors theorize, providing opportunities for casual contact among neighbors and forming a springboard for friendship.

The findings are part of a series of studies focusing on inner city housing developments, led by Kuo and Sullivan, co-directors of the U. of I. Human-Environment Research Laboratory. They previously reported that residents wanted -- and felt safer in -- the presence of green grass and trees, and that such greenery supports children's play, particularly creative forms of play, and encourages the presence of adult supervision.

"For individuals who live in poor inner-city neighborhoods and who face an array of difficult circumstances," Kuo said, "greener common outdoor spaces may make the world a more supportive place."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. "Trees, Green Space Foster Social Ties Among Families In Urban Housing." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 May 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/05/990510063610.htm>.
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. (1999, May 10). Trees, Green Space Foster Social Ties Among Families In Urban Housing. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/05/990510063610.htm
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. "Trees, Green Space Foster Social Ties Among Families In Urban Housing." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/05/990510063610.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dolphins and Turtles Under Threat in Pakistan

Dolphins and Turtles Under Threat in Pakistan

AFP (Oct. 2, 2014) — The turtles and Dolphins of Pakistan's Indus river - both protected by law - are in a fight for their survival as man's activities threatens their futures. Duration: 02:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Harvest Break' Endures in Maine Potato Fields

'Harvest Break' Endures in Maine Potato Fields

AP (Oct. 2, 2014) — Educators and farmers are clinging to a tradition aimed at giving farmers much-needed help in getting potatoes out of the fields and into storage before the ground freezes in the nation's northeast corner. (Oct. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Attacking Superbugs

Attacking Superbugs

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) — Two weapons hospitals can use to attack superbugs. Scientists in Ireland created a new gel resistant to superbugs, and a robot that can disinfect a room in minutes. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) — Cultural transmission — the passing of knowledge from one animal to another — has been caught on camera with chimps teaching other chimps. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins