ITU   A|Z

VOL: 6  NO: 1  6-20  2009-1

 

Neighborhood satisfaction, sense of community, and attachment: Initial findings from Famagusta quality of urban life study

 

 

Derya OKTAY*, Ahmet RSTEML**, Robert W. MARANS***

* Eastern Mediterranean University, Faculty of Architecture, Gazimagusa (Famagusta), TRNC **Eastern Mediterranean University, Gazimagusa (Famagusta) TRNC; ***University of Michigan Institute for Social Research Ann Arbor, USA  

 

Received: November 2008    Final Acceptance: May 2009

 

Abstract

The concern about the quality of urban life in cities has led to an increasing interest in findings from surveys aiming to measure the quality of life in particular places. A major research project in measuring the quality of urban life that utilizes a model from both a conceptual and empirical perspective has been launched in metro Detroit (Marans, 2003). This project has formed the core of the ?International Program of Research on Quality of Urban Life? coordinated at the University of Michigan, USA. As part of this program, parallel studies are underway in several world cities including Famagusta (Gazimagusa), N. Cyprus, a dynamic city of approximately 50,000 residents including many university students. Within the context of the Famagusta Area Study (FAS), both objective and subjective measures of quality of life was compiled. Using face-to-face interviews, 398 residents were interviewed in eight Famagusta neighborhoods during the summer and fall 2007.

 

The paper first presents a brief overview of the methodology and then reviews findings covering 191 respondents living in four neighborhoods which represent the four different growth patterns and differ in terms of their social-spatial character and their housing types. The four neighborhoods are: the Walled City (Surici in Turkish), Baykal, Karakol, and Tuzla. The paper mainly explores the impacts of certain social-spatial factors such as satisfaction with neighbourhood safety, walkability in the neighbourhood, satisfaction with parks and recreational facilites, the maintenance of houses in the neighbourhood, the maintenance of streets and open spaces, the availability of trees, the vehicular circulation, car parking and the accessibility of common public spaces, the density of traffic in the neighbourhood, the level of noise, the level of crowding, and the length of residence and the ?satisfaction with the neighbourhood as a place to live?. In addition, factors influencing the sense of neighbourhood as home, the degree of attachment to place, and the degree of belonging to community are examined. The major findings reveal that satisfaction with neighbourhood does not necessarily associate with place attachment, and similarly, despite realization of lacking certain social-spatial qualities in the neighbourhood, people may feel attached to the place because of certain attributes. However,  there is a positive relationship between satisfaction and feelings of neighbourhood as home.

Keywords: Social-spatial environment, quality of urban life, neighbourhoods, sense of community, satisfaction, attachment, Famagusta.

 

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