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Neighbouring, Sense of Community and Participation: a Research in the City of Genoa

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  • Environmental Variables
  • Neighbouring
  • Participation
  • Sense Of Community
  • Ecology
  • Education
  • Psychology


This paper presents a study of sense of community, neighbouring ties, inhabitants participation on local activities. Sense of community is considered a central concept in the psychological theory concerning the impact that the individual must bear when living in an urban reality. The sense of community, at the empirical level, has been studied as relationships to the territory, the neighbouring and the local community. The research of Chavis and Wandersman (1990), allocated within this conceptual framework, explores an empirical model whereas sense of community can act as a catalyst for local action such as, for example, the participation in neighbouring association. Within this reference frame the ecological model of Perkins, Brown, Taylor (1996) considers the relationship between physical environment, social environment, community cognition and community behaviour: these elements are considered to be the main predictor of participation of subject to local activities. A preliminary analysis on secondary data about all the neighbourhoods of the city of Genoa has been conducted. The results of this analysis have addressed the choice of two suburbs as subjects of the second phase of this research taking into account mainly the educational level being almost the average one in order to minimise this index influence on the results. Social and spatial features of these two suburbs (such as public green areas, number of local associations, number of children) have been used as indexes within the present work. The second phase of research has been conducted on two suburbs (whole sample included 100 subjects) in order to investigate the difference on neighbouring, sense of community and participation.

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