Sense of Community and the Perception of the Socio-Physical Environment: A Comparison Between Urban Centers of Different Sizes Across Europe
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Embedded in the strand of research on the community determinants of sense of community (SoC), the study was designed to verify whether: (1) the size of the urban context was inversely related to residents’ SoC; (2) the size of the urban centers affected some of the correlates of SoC, namely the perception of social support, the residential environmental satisfaction, the residential social climate satisfaction, and the perceived reliability of local services in the areas of health, transport, administration, education, and security. The sample comprised 1254 individuals residing in a variety of towns/cities of different sizes in Southern and Northern Europe. Analyses revealed that the larger the town/city, the lower the SoC expressed by the inhabitants. They also showed that the residential environmental and social climate satisfaction, as well as perceived social support, were associated with an increase in SoC, but that there were variations in the patterns of associations according to towns/cities’ size.
KeywordsSense of community Urban centers size Local community
The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under Grant Agreement No. 602386.
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