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Sustainability 2014, 6(5), 2766-2785; doi:10.3390/su6052766

Strategies of Building a Stronger Sense of Community for Sustainable Neighborhoods: Comparing Neighborhood Accessibility with Community Empowerment Programs

Department of Landscape Architecture, Chinese Culture University, 55, Hwa-Kang Road, Yang-Ming-Shan, Taipei City 11114, Taiwan
Received: 7 February 2014 / Revised: 28 April 2014 / Accepted: 29 April 2014 / Published: 13 May 2014
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Abstract

New Urbanist development in the U.S. aims at enhancing a sense of community and seeks to return to the design of early transitional neighborhoods which have pedestrian-oriented environments with retail shops and services within walking distances of housing. Meanwhile, 6000 of Taiwan’s community associations have been running community empowerment programs supported by the Council for Cultural Affairs that have helped many neighborhoods to rebuild so-called community cohesion. This research attempts to evaluate whether neighborhoods with facilities near housing and shorter travel distances within a neighborhood would promote stronger social interactions and form a better community attachment than neighborhoods that have various opportunities for residents to participate in either formal or informal social gatherings. After interviewing and surveying residents from 19 neighborhoods in Taipei’s Beitou District, and correlating the psychological sense of community with inner neighborhood’s daily travel distances and numbers of participatory activities held by community organizations under empowerment programs together with frequencies of regular individual visits and casual meetings, statistical evidence yielded that placing public facilities near residential locations is more effective than providing various programs for elevating a sense of community. View Full-Text
Keywords: sense of community; new urbanism; community empowerment; pedestrian friendly environment; neighborhood accessibility sense of community; new urbanism; community empowerment; pedestrian friendly environment; neighborhood accessibility
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Tsai, T.-I.A. Strategies of Building a Stronger Sense of Community for Sustainable Neighborhoods: Comparing Neighborhood Accessibility with Community Empowerment Programs. Sustainability 2014, 6, 2766-2785.

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