Neighbourhood land use features, collective efficacy and local civic actions

Jonathan Corcoran, Renee Zahnow, Rebecca Wickes, John Hipp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores the association between neighbourhood land use features and informal social control. More specifically, we examine the extent to which such features in combination with the socio-demographic context of the neighbourhood facilitate or impede collective efficacy and local civic actions. We achieve this through spatially integrating data from the census, topographic databases and a 2012 survey of 4132 residents from 148 neighbourhoods in Brisbane, Australia. The study creates a new classification of a neighbourhood’s physical environment by creating novel categories of land use features that depict social conduits, social holes and social wedges. Social conduits are features of the neighbourhood that facilitate interaction between individuals, social holes are land uses that create situations where there is no occupancy, and social wedges are features that carve up neighbourhoods. We find some evidence to suggest that residents’ reports of collective efficacy are higher in neighbourhoods with a greater density of social conduits. Density of social conduits is also positively associated with local civic action. However, in neighbourhoods with more greenspace, residents are less likely to engage in local civic actions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2372-2390
Number of pages19
JournalUrban Studies
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes

Cite this