Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Walk places, meet people, and build social capital

Date:
December 7, 2010
Source:
Springer Science+Business Media
Summary:
Living in an area where amenities of daily life – groceries, playgrounds, post offices, libraries and restaurants – are within walking distance promotes healthy lifestyles and has positive implications for the environment, research has established. Now, new research has linked walkable neighborhoods with an increase in social benefits as well.

Living in an area where amenities of daily life – groceries, playgrounds, post offices, libraries and restaurants – are within walking distance promotes healthy lifestyles and has positive implications for the environment, research has established. Now, new research from the University of New Hampshire has linked walkable neighborhoods with an increase in social benefits as well.

The research is published online in Springer's journal Applied Research in Quality of Life.

A walkable community provides residents with easy access to post offices, town parks and playgrounds, coffee shops, restaurants, barbershops and club meeting venues. The ability to walk to these important locations in one's home neighborhood has been linked to a higher quality of life.

Social capital, a measure of an individual's or group's networks, personal connections, and community involvement, brings benefits such as reduced isolation, career connections, and neighborhood safety. What Rogers and her team's work suggests is that it is these benefits -- facilitated by living in a walkable community -- that enhance an individual's quality of life.

For their main study, the authors selected two municipalities in the state of New Hampshire. Ten neighborhoods were chosen in each of the cities and a total of 700 residents took part in the survey. They were asked about the number of locations they could walk to in their community to assess the level of walkability, as well as their trust in the local community, participation in community activities and socializing with friends -- all measures of social capital.

On the whole, the more walkable neighborhoods scored higher on every measure of social capital than the less walkable neighborhoods. The authors found that individuals in more walkable neighborhoods tended to have higher levels of trust and community involvement, whether that was working on a community project, attending a club meeting, volunteering, or simply entertaining friends at home. Residents in the more walkable neighborhoods also reported being in good health and happy more often than those in the less walkable neighborhoods.

The authors conclude: "Walkability has been linked to quality of life in other studies. Walkability may also enhance social capital by providing the means and locations for individuals to connect, share information, and interact with those that they might not otherwise meet. The links we found between walkability and measures of social capital in this study provide further evidence for the consideration of social capital as a key component of quality of life."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer Science+Business Media. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Shannon H. Rogers, John M. Halstead, Kevin H. Gardner, Cynthia H. Carlson. Examining Walkability and Social Capital as Indicators of Quality of Life at the Municipal and Neighborhood Scales. Applied Research in Quality of Life, 2010; DOI: 10.1007/s11482-010-9132-4

Cite This Page:

Springer Science+Business Media. "Walk places, meet people, and build social capital." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101207092429.htm>.
Springer Science+Business Media. (2010, December 7). Walk places, meet people, and build social capital. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101207092429.htm
Springer Science+Business Media. "Walk places, meet people, and build social capital." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101207092429.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. 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:
from the past week

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