Annotated Bibliography: Social Capital and the Built Environment: The Importance of Walkable Neighborhoods

Leyden, Kevin M. “Social Capital and the Built Environment: The Importance of Walkable Neighborhoods.” American Journal of Public Health 93.9 (2003): 1546–1551. CrossRef. Web.   Kevin Leyden, Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at West Virginia University and author of the article “Social Capital and the Built Environment: The Importance of Walkable Neighborhoods” writes that “persons living in walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods have higher levels of social capital compared with those living in car-oriented suburbs.” (Leyden). Within this article, he defines different types of neighborhoods based on their walkability then compares their levels of social interaction. The first neighborhood described is a “city center neighborhood.” In these neighborhoods, everything required for daily life is in walking distance. Next is a “mixed-use suburb,” where necessities can be walked to but there are not as many things nearby as a city center neighborhood. Finally, the “modern suburbs” are entirely automobile dependent. When the three were compared based on how well residents knew their neighbors, their political participation, their trust or faith in other people, and their social engagement, it was found that neighborhoods entirely dependent on automobiles consistently scored the lowest, while city center suburbs scored the highest. Leyden uses these findings as a call to action, saying that suburbs should go back to being able to walk places in order to foster a sense of community. His target for this article is people who have the intellect and power to advocate for a change in government policy regarding zoning and other obstructions to city center neighborhoods. This article is useful in regards to the way that streets, sidewalks, and...
css.php