Kevin M. Leyden, Robert D. Duval & Abraham Goldberg
Leyden, K. M. , Duval, R. D. & Goldberg, A. (1). The built environment, maintenance of the public sphere and connections to others and to place: an examination of 10 international cities. Journal of Urbanism: International Research on Placemaking and Urban Sustainability, 4(1), 25–38. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17549175.2011.559946
Using surveys collected from 10 major metropolitan cities across the world, this article examines the factors that affect the extent to which people feel connected to others who live in their neighborhood and feel proud and satisfied with life in their cities. The cities included in the analysis are: New York, London, Paris, Stockholm, Toronto, Milan, Berlin, Seoul, Beijing and Tokyo. We find that certain aspects of the built environment, the conditions of the public sphere, and the extent of positive social networks in the city are critically important for understanding residents’ connections to each other and to their cities. Our findings provide insights for policy makers and planners concerned with making cities viable and livable.
The study finds that city residents want positive social networks and public policy efforts that provide cleanliness, beauty, a good local economy, a low crime rate and a city that is perceived as a good place to rear and care for children. Additionally city residents value built amenities such as easy access to plenty of parks, shops, supermarkets, theaters and other leisure, educational and cultural facilities and good pedestrian or transit-oriented, mixed-use urban planning models that actively seek to create a sense of place. Most importantly, the study concludes that the public wants and expects municipal governments to work to maintain and improve the public realm.
Description of method used in the article
The data was collected by Gallup for the National Academy of Sciences (of the Republic of Korea) under the auspices of the Seoul Metropolitan Government and the Seoul Welfare Foundation. Random samples of 1000 people in 10 cities (New York, London, Paris, Stockholm, Toronto, Milan, Berlin, Seoul, Beijing and Tokyo) was collected in late 2007.
Of practical use