Social Cohesiveness of Disadvantaged Communities in Urban South Korea: The Impact of the Physical Environment

Bokyong Seo, Rebecca L.H. Chiu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the impact of the physical environment and residents' perception and use of the environment settings on the social cohesiveness of disadvantaged communities in South Korea. Multiple regression and qualitative analysis were applied based on the data collected in four public rental housing estates in Seoul accommodating the lowest income households. This paper argues that social cohesiveness could be operationalised in shared norms and trust, attachment to housing estate and social networking. It was found that the characteristics of social cohesiveness were different across the same type of public rental housing estates, and that this variance was partly due to the different conditions of the physical environment. It was also found that a more positive perception of the physical environment and the more frequent use of facilities generally enhanced community cohesiveness. Desirable land use mix and housing types around the housing estates, preferable community facilities, housing block design and more effective refurbishment programmes within the estates were recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-437
JournalHousing Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014


  • neighbourhoods
  • physical environment
  • planning
  • public housing
  • Social cohesion
  • South Korea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies


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