Isolation and Dissatisfaction in the Suburbs

A new study looking at neighborhood satisfaction finds that people living in the suburbs are less satisfied than urban dwellers.

May 13, 2011, 8:00 AM PDT

By Nate Berg


The authors suggest that loneliness and isolation are to blame.

"The problem isn't really suburbia itself; it's isolation, which can affect anyone. (Fess up, city dwellers. Do you really even know who lives next door?)

During the same period, we began to see the outside world as hostile and our homes as a haven, partly because we couldn't understand our new neighbors with different backgrounds, says Parks. As a result, even city dwellers retreated into their homes and focused on their intimate relationships.

And why does this make us unsatisfied? "Humans are social beings who need friends," says Parks. The better our friend network, the more satisfied we are with all aspects of our lives-including our neighborhoods, says Parks."

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 in Men's Health

Kids

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Assistant or Associate Professor of Urban Design

Harvard University Graduate School of Design

Professor of Urban Planning

Harvard University Graduate School of Design

Professor of Urban Design and/or Urban Planning

Harvard University Graduate School of Design

New Cityscape Explores Methods of Measuring Blight

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

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Cohousing Association of the US

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This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

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