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 21, 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 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) An entomologist stumbled upon a South American Goliath Birdeater. With a name like that, you know it's a terrifying creepy crawler. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Adorable Video of Baby Rhino and Lamb Friend Playing

Adorable Video of Baby Rhino and Lamb Friend Playing

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) Gertjie the Rhino and Lammie the Lamb are teaching the world about animal conservation and friendship. TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) has the adorable video! Video provided by Buzz60
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