Connectivity isn’t the same as social connection

Increased connection via walking and cycling paths sounds great but it can erode social connection, argues guest writer Dr Brenda Mackie; it’s not a guarantee of ‘liveability’

Connectivity isn’t the same as social connection

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2 Comments on “Connectivity isn’t the same as social connection”

  1. Horst (Oz) Kayak says:

    Do we read the case put by Dr Brenda Mackie that “Gated Communities”, bring the greatest net social benefit to local communities and therefore should be Hobsons Bay Council policy where the available option is possible?.

    • Brenda Mackie says:

      Not at all. Any low crime statistics of gated communities are as much (or more) to do with the security arrangements of gated communities (monitored/secure entry, fences or walls around the perimeters, and shared amenities) as it is the street layout. Gated communities are artificially manufactured and based on demographics and economic similarities, rather than the naturally evolving and diverse neighbourhoods like the Hobsons Bay example in (my) article. Interestingly, in terms of social capital and social connection, cul-de-sacs are very different and in fact, anthropologist Setha M. Low, in American Anthropologist, (v103:1) has shown that gated communities ‘have a negative effect on the net social capital of the broader community’. Moreover, studies in the US have found no difference in crime between gated and non-gated suburbs.


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