Neighborhood Design and Turnover
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This study seeks to find empirical evidences whether or not neighborhood and context designs influence neighborhood turnover in Austin, Texas, using multilevel linear modeling. The study originated from the notion that neighborhoods are a multilevel phenomenon comprised of different sizes. In this study, ‘neighborhoods’ and ‘contexts’ are theoretically and operationally defined by scale. Neighborhoods represent residential neighborhoods, while contexts are larger neighborhoods that may include several residential neighborhoods, which are often called institutional neighborhoods. For the operation, subdivisions were employed to characterize neighborhoods and census tracts for contexts. Further, this study also tries to identify the independent roles and magnitudes of neighborhood design elements into structural (i.e., density, land use, housing mix, and street patterns) and ecological design components (i.e., nature, open space, and landscape patterns) in both neighborhoods and contexts. Using five years of deed data, neighborhood turnover was measured by the average change in ownership of single-family homes. This study found that even though preferences are determined by multiple conditions, neighborhood and context designs do have an influence on residents’ location decisions. Neighborhoods have a greater impact than contexts, but the influence of contexts also plays unique roles in neighborhood turnover. The study also found that the specific combinations of neighborhood and context designs can increase or decrease neighborhood turnover. Another distinctive finding of this study was that the same design principles could be perceived as desirable or undesirable depending on the spatial scales. For example, density is a critical element in explaining neighborhood turnover, but the trends contrast. Low-density is preferable in neighborhoods, but is not desirable in contexts. Further, the importance of structural and ecological features appears different. Structural components are the most significant in neighborhoods and contexts, while a set of ecological features shows a significant role only in neighborhoods. In summary, people are not willing to sacrifice their typical suburban-style neighborhoods, but they are more likely to stay homes in contexts that allow them various functions and services as current planning guides pursue. The findings urge planners to address more scale sensitive design principles and find fundamental reasons for the two different ends of residents’ preferences in different scales of neighborhoods.
contextual sensitive design
Park, Yun Mi (2014). Neighborhood Design and Turnover. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from