Journal of Housing and the Built Environment

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 1023–1041 | Cite as

Do neighbour relationships still matter?

  • Jukka HirvonenEmail author
  • Johanna Lilius


Neighbour relations form an integral part of human social networks and urban planning has historically sought to strengthen social networks in neighbourhoods. There is also an ongoing discussion about the decreasing significance of place for social ties. Drawing on the results of a nationwide Finnish survey concerning neighbour relations and comparing it with data from 1986, this paper shows that especially the young age groups have fewer weak and strong ties with neighbours than before, whereas problematic neighbour relations have become a little more prevalent. The paper argues that only small differences exist between house types and between cities and rural areas concerning the prevalence of various types of neighbourly relations. The paper also suggests that there are in fact good opportunities and need to develop social ties also in rental houses and in urban circumstances.


Finland Neighbour relationships Sense of community Social ties Survey data 



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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.City of Helsinki, Executive Office, Urban Research and StatisticsHelsinkiFinland
  2. 2.Department of ArchitectureAalto UniversityAaltoFinland

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