Environmental factors and sense of community in a planned town

  • Jeanne M. Plas
  • Susan E. Lewis


Previous community psychology research has suggested that sense of community can be a powerful explanatory tool for understanding community development and individual well-being, but has not focused on the relationship of environmental variables to the construct. In other disciplines—especially urban planning—this construct has received more attention but it has not been empirically and systematically studied. The three-phase qualitative study reported here sampled people representative of those who live and work in Seaside, FL, a town designed to induced sense of community. The data strongly suggest a relationship between a variable set that may define sense of community—membership, need fulfillment, shared emotional connections, loyalty—and the environmental variables of town design, architecture, and urban planning philosophy.

Key Words

sense of community environmental variables qualitative methodology in community psychology planned towns 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeanne M. Plas
    • 1
  • Susan E. Lewis
    • 1
  1. 1.Vanderbilt UniversityUSA

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