Density and Loneliness (08-13-21)

How are neighborhood residential density and loneliness related?  Lai and colleagues share that they used “high-resolution geospatial built environment exposure data to examine associations between residential density and loneliness and social isolation among 405,925 UK Biobank cohort participants. Residential unit density was measured within a 1- and 2-Km residential street network catchment of participant’s geocoded dwelling. . . . We found for the UK, that every 1,000 units/km2 increment in residential density within a 1-Km network catchment was independently associated with a 2.8% . . . higher odds of loneliness and social isolation respectively. . . . Higher density of detached housing was negatively associated with both loneliness and social isolation [so as detached density increased loneliness, etc.,  decreased], while density of flats was positively associated with both outcomes. . . . Density was associated with loneliness and social isolation independently of other factors, which means that urban design and density planning strategies matter; especially in an age of accelerating suburban densification.”

Ka Lai, Chinmoy Sarkar, Sarika Kumari, Michael No, John Gallacher, and Chris Webster.  2021.  “Calculating a National Anomie Density Ratio:  Measuring the Patterns of Loneliness and Social Isolation Across the UK’s Residential Density Gradient Using Results from the UK Biobank Study.” Landscape and Urban Planning, vol. 215, 104194, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2021.104194