Skip to main content

Table 2 Hypothesis referenced in Table 1

From: Measuring the impact of spatial network layout on community social cohesion: a cross-sectional study

D (Density)

These are all measures of built environment density. Hypothesis: there is an optimum built environment density for social cohesion, sufficient to ensure interactions between residents but possibly with diminishing returns in high density areas as the number of familiar individuals is diluted in the unfamiliar population.

DD (Density distribution)

These are all measures of how the built environment is distributed within the radius: close to or far from the origin. Hypothesis: there is an optimum distance to neighbouring dense areas for social cohesion, striking a balance between accessibility to community focal points and isolation from problems associated with busy areas.

T (Twistiness)

These are all measures of how ‘twisted’ the local network is. Angular distance proxies cognitive difficulty of navigating a route. Hypothesis: ‘twistier’ environments impose a greater psychological barrier between each origin and its neighbourhood. Again there should be an optimum barrier that strikes a balance between access to positive effects and isolation from negative.

F (Flow)

These are both estimates for pedestrian flow under different models. Hypothesis: there is an optimum level of pedestrian flow for community cohesion. More flow creates more opportunities for community-strengthening interactions, while too much dilutes community effects.

L (Literature)

These measures reflect the dominant method in the literature of measuring connectivity via intersection density. Hypothesis: more junctions in an area make it more navigable for pedestrians; therefore it is more frequently navigated on foot, creating opportunities for pedestrian interaction.

E (Efficiency)

These measures reflect the efficiency of the network for covering either space or distance in the local area. Thus they are a more sophisticated measure of navigability, which takes into account the shape and arrangement of links as well as the raw number of connections. Hypothesis: greater efficiency of navigation on foot will lead to more frequent navigation on foot, creating more opportunities for pedestrian interaction.

H (Homogeneity)

This measure represents the degree to which the local network ‘looks the same’ in all directions. Hypothesis: that variety in the local area can foster a greater sense of social cohesion due to the sense of identity associated with living somewhere unique.