220172 Neighborhood Environment and Sense of Community: Multilevel Analysis in Suburban City of Tokyo

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Hiroshi Murayama, PhD, RN, PHN , Research Team for Social Participation and Community Health, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology, Tokyo, Japan
Ikuko Sugawara, PhD , Institute of Geronotology, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
Satoru Yoshie, MS, RN, PHN , Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
Tomoko Wakui, MS , Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
Reiko Arami, MA , Graduate Schools for Law and Politics, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
Objective: Many commuter towns have been developed in suburban city of Tokyo, and many people have moved there. In such a city, the sense of community among the residents might be low, but it is important to foster this toward building community capacity. Improving neighborhood environment might help in developing a sense of community among the residents. This study examined the relationship between the sense of community and neighborhood environment among general population in a suburban city of Tokyo. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted using mailed questionnaires in February 2009. The participants were randomly selected 4,123 people who were aged 20 and above living in 7 areas (including 72 districts) in Kashiwa city, Chiba prefecture. The questions included attitude toward community scale, with two subscales of "activeness" and "cooperativeness," and neighborhood environment walkability scale (using subscales of "aesthetics" and "crime"). The neighborhoodenvironment walkability scale was developed as a district variable by aggregating the individual scores within each district. Results: The analysis included 1,720 questionnaires (valid response rate: 41.7%). A multilevel analysis showed that high district score of "aesthetics" and low district score of "crime" were associated with high score of "cooperativeness." However, there was no association between neighborhood environment and "activeness." Conclusion: The result indicates that improvement in the neighborhood environment would play important role in developing sense of cooperativeness. Meanwhile, further study is necessary to clarify how the sense of activeness among the residents can be fostered.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the relationship between neighborhood environment and sense of community. Discuss how to promote the improvoment the neighborhood environment.

Keywords: Environment, Community Planning

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: this is my own academic research and this research did not have any relevant personal financial relationship.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.