Benita, Bansal, and Tuncer set out to learn more about the emotions people feel in public spaces. They specifically probed momentary subjective wellbeing (M-SWB). During the data collection process, students (age 7 to 18) “wore a sensor for one week, and happy moments were captured as well as geospatial and environmental data throughout the country. This is a large-scale in-the-wild user study. The findings provide weak empirical evidence that visiting parks and community centers increase the probability of experiencing M-SWB compared with commercial areas. . . .
How are crime and the amount of walking done in that area related? Foster and teammates found that “Interrelationships between neighborhood walkability, area disadvantage, and crime may contribute to the inconsistent associations between crime and walking. . . . Participants . . . from 200 neighborhoods spanning the most and least disadvantaged in Brisbane, Australia, completed a questionnaire and objective measures were generated for the individual-level 1,000-m neighborhood. . . .
Bellet studied the implications of building large new homes in neighborhoods. He reports that “Despite a major upscaling of single-family houses since 1980, house satisfaction has remained steady in American suburbs. . . . Combining data from the American Housing Surveys with a geolocalised dataset of three million suburban houses, I find that new constructions at the top of the house size distribution lower the satisfaction that neighbors derive from their own house size.
Douglas, Russell, and Scott add to the body of research on resident responses to neighborhoods. They report that “Data [used in their analyses] are drawn from a household survey questionnaire completed by 483 residents living in three neighbourhoods in Dublin, Ireland – an inner city neighbourhood, a suburb and a peri-urban settlement. Positive perceptions of green and open space were identified as important predictors of high levels of neighbourhood satisfaction, surpassed only by dwelling characteristics.
Van Assche and colleagues investigated why people move from one neighborhood to another, and their findings have broad implications for planning. The researchers report that “Previous research has shown that neighborhood (dis)satisfaction is an important determinant for individuals' moving intentions. Attempts by policy makers to boost neighborhood satisfaction, and hence reduce the exodus of people out of particular neighborhoods, have often involved physical interventions and development projects, such as new parks or infrastructure. . . . we consider this issue . . .
Park probed factors linked to park use. He reports that “As the world becomes more urbanized, neighborhood parks are becoming an increasingly important venue where people engage in physical and social activities. Using park-use data collected by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the aim of this study is to account for park use in light of park attributes and neighborhood conditions. . .
Getting people rolling isn't easy
An Engemann-lead team determined that growing up in greener areas has lifelong benefits. The investigators found that “Green space presence was assessed at the individual level using high-resolution satellite data to calculate the normalized difference vegetation index within a 210 × 210 m square around each person’s place of residence (∼1 million people [in Denmark]) from birth to the age of 10. . . . high levels of green space presence during childhood are associated with lower risk of a wide spectrum of psychiatric disorders later in life.
A Konig-lead team confirms the important links between culture and the experience of place. The researchers report that “The living environment plays a critical role in healthy aging. . . . The aim of this study was to shed light on older adults’ (. . .ages 70+) living situations and their demands on the neighborhood in two countries, the United States . . . and Germany. . . . Differences between countries were more pronounced than differences between age groups or living areas, indicating that cultural influence is a key aspect of needs assessment for neighborhood design. . . .
Homelike spaces and neighborhoods, whether they’re in workplaces, residential areas, or elsewhere