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White picket fences & other features of the suburban physical environment: correlates of neighbourhood attachment in 3 Australian low-density suburbs

journal contribution
posted on 2018-02-01, 00:00 authored by Zainab Ibrahim Abass, Richard TuckerRichard Tucker
This study examines the relationship between neighbourhood attachment and five groups of physical characteristics of low-density suburbs: (1) street layout, (2) pedestrian environment, (3) neighbourhood connectivity, (4) public space provision, and (5) dwelling form. Although much research has investigated whether neighbourhood attachment is influenced by the urban design characteristics of high density contexts, there is little evidence of the impact of such characteristics in suburban environments with lower population densities, such as the types of low-density suburbs that ring Australian cities. Surveys were conducted in Victoria, Australia, to examine how these five groups of characteristics might impact residents' neighbourhood attachment in three suburbs with equivalent socioeconomic profiles. Questionnaires were delivered to eight streets of different layout in each suburb, and via on-street face-to-face surveys in public spaces adjacent to neighbourhood libraries. The results of five separate regression models indicated that all five groups of physical neighbourhood characteristics significantly predicted neighbourhood attachment. Home ownership, length of residence and age were also found to have strong correlation with neighbourhood attachment. When length of residency is controlled for, it was found that five physical variables were the best predictors of neighbourhood attachment: provision of open spaces, street type, trees coverage, sidewalk provision and number of community spaces. Only the provision of open spaces had greater impact on attachment than length of residency. Hence, the study findings suggest that both social and physical factors should be considered in the planning of suburban neighbourhoods.

History

Journal

Landscape and Urban Planning

Volume

170

Pagination

231 - 240

Publisher

Elsevier

Location

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

ISSN

0169-2046

Language

eng

Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2017, Elsevier