For older adults, social integration and the strength of social ties are profoundly important predictors of well-being and longevity. Can the physical environment be designed to promote older adults' social integration with their neighbors? We examined this possibility by testing the relationships between varying amount of exposure to green outdoor common spaces and the strength of ties among neighbors. Results of interviews with 91 older adults (between the ages of 64 and 91 years) from one inner-city neighborhood show that the use of green outdoor common spaces predicted both the strength of neighborhood social ties and sense of community. Although the strength of these relationships were modest, the findings suggest that the characteristics of outdoor common spaces can play a role in the formation and maintenance of social ties among older adult residents of inner-city neighborhoods. The results have implications for designers, managers, and residents of housing developments.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Science(all)