Saturday, March 19, 2011

The ‘request scruple’ and the demand for neighbourliness

Our society seems to be crying out with a perceived need to stimulate neighbourliness. The assumption is that the supply of neighbourliness in many residential populations is simply inadequate for the demand: people are not neighbourly enough, it seems, and the entire social structure is in jeopardy. The hunt is on to invent ways of stimulating neighbouring. So here's the Campaign to End Loneliness starting to capture ideas for instance, and we have one or two over on the 50 Ways site also. Is this the right approach?
Back in 2009 I had the privilege of editing the English language summary of a Dutch PhD thesis submitted by my friend Lilian Linders.
The study was about ‘the significance of proximity’ and looked at the nature of informal care at neighbourhood level. What Lilian found and describes is starting to excite the social welfare field in the Netherlands, and there are good reasons to reflect on her conclusions.
The research was carried out in a low income urban area, perceived as fairly cohesive in the traditional sense, with a population of about 2,400, clamped between an industrial zone and several highways. (I was driven close by last week, as it happens). Lilian speaks of ‘informal care’ in a very broad sense, she means I think the full range of informal support provided, including informal care and some very intimate tasks carried out by known co-residents repeatedly.

more posts about urban studies:

The Study of Urban Space: How Cities Shape Our Lives

Manuel Castells - Space of Flows, Space of Places: Materials For a Theory of Urban-ism in the Information Age - 2004

THE SPACE SYNTAX AND CRIME: evidence from a suburban community

No comments:

Post a Comment