Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Associations between Dwelling Type, Environmental Aspects of Housing Welfare, and Residents' Sense of Insecurity in Bandar-Abbas, Iran

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Associations between Dwelling Type, Environmental Aspects of Housing Welfare, and Residents' Sense of Insecurity in Bandar-Abbas, Iran

Article excerpt


Recently, feeling of safety in the residential area as a component of a proper housing has attracted a lot of attention from psycho-sociologist. Hence, this survey aims at determining the relationship between dwelling type, environmental aspects of housing welfare, and residents' sense of insecurity in Bandar-Abbas, Iran using a self-administered structured questionnaire distributed among 384 residents (62 from single-unit houses + 322 from apartment complexes) randomly selected. The findings show that dwelling type is significantly related to sense of insecurity among the residents. Further, the relationship between the components of housing welfare in residential building and residents' sense of insecurity is negatively significant. Additionally, regarding the effect of housing welfare components in residential neighborhood, only the access to recreational services has a significant negative but small effect on the sense of insecurity. Therefore, the factors which contribute to improved residents' feeling of safety may absorb more attention by both designers and policy makers in the housing development in order to increase the welfare of housing.

Keywords: dwelling, environmental aspects, housing, security, insecurity, residential area, safety, welfare, Iran

1. Introduction

1.1 Research Background

According to psychologist, "proper housing" is housing in which families can feel safe and comfortable. Although proper housing ensures the freedom of people, it does not allow people to violate each other's territory. Furthermore, sociologists believe that "proper housing" should be established based on the location, residents' workplace, and hygiene standards. It should also comply with the prevailing culture and customs of the area (Bahramian, 2004). In general, housing has two dimensions: quantitative and qualitative. The first dimension includes understanding phenomena, lack of shelter, and access to it. Indeed, this dimension considers the needs regardless of the quality. However, the qualitative dimension considers issues and phenomena related to the quality and physical aspects of housing (Shia, 2005, 2008). Security is one of the significant issues defining quality in housing. Having a safe shelter is among the most urgent human needs. It is also the most important and basic requirement in a residential complex (Iranmanesh, 2007). Similarly, Van Poll (2003) argues that safety is one of the key factors of the perceived residential quality. Furthermore, Maslow (1954) classifies security and safety as the second important physiological need of human being. In this regard, sense of safety at home and in the residential environment are two levels of feeling security experienced by the residents (Aalbers & Rancati, 2008). Indeed, living in a safe home and secure neighborhoods from intruders is what all people are seeking for (Mikellides, 1980) and is affected by various factors. In a study by Wood, Shannon, Bulsara, Pikora, McCormack, & Giles-Corti, (2008), dwelling type was observed to have significant correlation with the level of feeling of safety among the residents. Ameri Siahooie and Rostami Goorani (2010) in a study in Bandar-Abbas (the capital of Hormozgan Province, Iran) found that one of the effective factors on sense of insecurity among local residents is type of dwelling they are residing in; because type of dwelling is one of the environmental factors that significantly affects the crime rates. Moreover, access to diverse land-uses is another factor that affects perceived safety (McCord, Ratcliffe, Garcia, & Taylor, 2007; Wood et al., 2008). In this essence, Foster, Giles-Corti, & Knuiman (2010) found that availability of public services (as one function of mixed land-uses) in the neighborhood causes a decrease in resident's fear of crime and feeling of unsafety.

Besides, the importance of social participation as an essential component of residents' sense of safety has been highlighted in several studies. …

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