NEIGHBOURHOOD PLANNING IMPROVEMENT: PHYSICAL ATTRIBUTES, COGNITIVE AND AFFECTIVE EVALUATION AND ACTIVITIES IN TWO NEIGHBOURHOODS IN ROME

Abstract

A B S T R A C T This study proposes a psychological analysis of the relationships between people and their residential environment in two neighbourhoods in Rome, within the theoretical framework of place theory. The analysis was aimed at getting indications for neighbourhood improvement, which can lead to residential satisfaction and neighbourhood attachment. We considered both constructs as the result of the relationships between the physical attributes of the environment, the cognitive perceptions and the affective appraisals of residents, and the activities they carry out. The role of socio-demographic and residential variables was also considered. Theoretical implications of results and indications for neighbourhood improvement are discussed. Residential satisfaction and neighbourhood attachment have a different pattern of predictors, emerging from all the dimensions of analysis we considered. Using hierarchical linear models, cognitive, affective and behavioural variables emerged as significant first level predictors of both criterions, and physical attributes were found to be significant second-level predictors. In addition, the joint analysis of objective neighborhood features and residents’ experience within a place-specific framework showed to be an effective approach to identify relevant domains for neighbourhood improvement. Commercial and leisure facilities can contribute to make the neighbourhood more lively; building density and green areas have inverse effects on the prevalence of social activities

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