Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Link Between Walkability And Social Capital

A study publicized this week from another Durham, this time Durham, New Hampshire the home of University of New Hampshire was based on an initial pilot study in two neighborhoods there.

Deepened now to a survey 700 residents in  20 neighborhoods in the communities of Portsmouth and Manchester, the researchers found a link between walkable neighborhoods and social capital such as intrapersonal trust, volunteerism and participation in community projects.Peoplematrix

Participants who self-identified their neighborhood by indicating the number of locations they could walk to with a mean of more than seven walkable locations out of thirteen, e.g. groceries, playgrounds, post offices, libraries and restaurants were designated walkable.

To many, my home, Durham, North Carolina, recognized for walkability as high as 37th by Prevention Magazine and even more known for social capital may also be evidence of this link.  The UNH study is funded in part of the EPA and focused on what the researchers term the broad issue of community sustainability and resilience.

1 comment:

Dave Connelly said...

Excellent article. Walkable communities are also associated with lower weight, improved health, and reduced costs to treat obesity.