But beyond general appearance, people living in different neighborhoods may be looking at distinct factors when making their overall evaluations.
The study, which is the first of its kind to examine the differences between neighborhoods that are rated satisfactory and unsatisfactory, found that residents living in highly-rated neighborhoods tended to focus on local city services and distance to work, family and friends.
Meanwhile, those who were less satisfied with their neighborhoods focused on the safety and social problems there such as proximity to problem areas and crime levels in and around their area.
“People actually use different criteria when they rate their neighborhood depending on where they live. One resident will look at the good things about their neighborhood like naturalness, and another will look at the bad things in their neighborhood like crime. And people need to think differently about how to improve neighborhoods because there are not general guidelines for everything,” said Misun Hur, co-author of the study and doctoral student in city and regional planning at Ohio State University.
The study, which was published recently in the journal Environment and Behavior, was based on a survey of 2,060 homeowners in Franklin County, Ohio. The survey was conducted by the Ohio State University Survey Research Center in the summer and fall of 2001 to determine how satisfied residents were with their neighborhoods and their intentions to move or remodel.
Respondents were asked to rate their satisfaction with a variety of neighborhood characteristics such as level of crime, traffic, general appearance, and other positive and negative attributes of their neighborhood. They were then asked to rate their satisfaction with neighborhood characteristics and their overall satisfaction on a scale from 1 to 7, with 1 being very dissatisfied and 7 being very satisfied.
People were surveyed before and after the terrorist attacks of September 11 to test for any potential effects of the terrorist attacks, but no significant differences in the attitudes of residents towards their neighborhoods were found.
Neighborhoods were mapped according to census tracts, which are determined by the U.S. Census Bureau by grouping about 4,000 households into each tract.
The researchers then separated neighborhoods into two groups, unsatisfactory and satisfactory, to discover what aspects of the neighborhoods might be affecting satisfaction overall. Satisfactory neighborhoods were those with average ratings from 5 to 7, while unsatisfactory neighborhoods were those with average ratings less than 5. There were 193 satisfactory neighborhoods and 50 unsatisfactory areas total.
Overall, people living throughout Franklin County were generally satisfied with their neighborhoods, with 82 percent of respondents giving a rating of 5 or higher on the seven-point scale. But different neighborhoods yielded different results, said Hazel Morrow-Jones, co-author of the study and professor of city and regional planning at Ohio State.
People living downtown reported the highest levels of satisfaction in the county, rating their neighborhoods between a 6 and 7 on average.
“A lot of people may want to live downtown because there are a lot of new condominiums there and the downtown area has lots of amenities. We may have some crime problems downtown but there are lots of exciting events and cultural aspects there,” Hur said.
But at the same time, some areas within about a 5-mile radius of downtown were also considered to be some of the worst neighborhoods, she said. These areas, along with areas to the east and southeast, were rated the lowest and people in these neighborhoods reported that safety from crime was 3.7 times more important to their overall satisfaction than people living in satisfactory areas.
Proximity to known problem areas and the amount of traffic were also major concerns for these residents, aspects that were not statistically important to those in more highly rated neighborhoods.
On the other hand, areas in the western and northwestern half of the county were rated as very satisfactory on average. While general appearance of the neighborhood was important to people living in both types of neighborhoods, only residents in satisfactory neighborhoods were significantly interested in access to recreational opportunities and to governmental services such as police and fire.
People in these areas were also twice as concerned with the density of housing as were their counterparts in less satisfactory neighborhoods.
The other major difference between the two types of neighborhoods involves how people value social interaction. Only people living in higher-rated neighborhoods reported that interaction was an important factor in how satisfied they were overall in their neighborhood. People in these areas valued spending time with neighbors and participating in neighborhood activities.
“There will be certain kinds of neighborhoods and groups of people that encourage interaction and others that discourage interaction. It all depends on who you are and what you want,” Morrow-Jones said.
Although previous research has shown that school quality can be important to many residents with children, it was not a focus of this study. In addition, other factors such as the decision to rent or buy a home can also impact satisfaction in the long term, she said.
Overall, this new research provides clear evidence that focusing on different factors in different neighborhoods may be the key to making residents in all neighborhoods happier, Hur said.Contact: Misun Hur, (614) 668-1491; Hur.firstname.lastname@example.org
Jenna McGuire | Newswise Science News
WAKE-UP provides new treatment option for stroke patients | International study led by UKE
17.05.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
First form of therapy for childhood dementia CLN2 developed
25.04.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.
Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...
A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
25.05.2018 | Event News
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering
25.05.2018 | Life Sciences