Building Hyperlocal Ties:
The Role of the Local Built Environment in Building Hyperlocal Bridging Social Capital in Cambridge, MA
This study investigates how the local built environment can predict the likelihood of an individual to build hyperlocal bridging social capital with data from an original survey of Cambridge, Massachusetts residents (N=149) and measures of the 4Ds: land use diversity, density, design, and destinations within a walkable distance of the home address of each respondent. The results of a logistic regression indicate that the local built environment has a positive and causal effect on hyperlocal bridging social capital, suggesting that urban and environmental planners can, in fact, build hyperlocal bridging social ties. These findings confirm that urban design, specifically Neotraditional Development or New Urbanism, plays an important role in predicting hyperlocal bridging social capital, which has important implications for communities facing big challenges that require collective action. The policy implications of this research suggest that urban, environment and transportation planners should consider the feasibility of four changes to the built environment: (1) diversifying land-use, (2) creating, retrofitting or renovating existing infrastructure to provide more access to destinations within a walkable distance, (3) making capital improvements to sidewalks, and (4) assessing the need for traffic signals in intersections where they are absent to ensure safe passage of walkers.
Recommended Citation: Page-Tan, C. (2020) Building Hyperlocal Ties: The Role of the Local Built Environment in Building Hyperlocal Bridging Social Capital in Cambridge, MA. Manuscript submitted for publication.