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New Meanings of Community in the Metropolitan Context The common social and economic institutions through which urban populations carry on their daily life are now metropolitan in scale. Even governmental institutions, in which there are critical lags, are seeking to adapt to the new scale. A growing interdependence within metropolitan areas is evident in the exchange of goods and services. The degree of job specialization and the range of services in these areas increase as scale expands. Similarly, the population and its interests become more diverse. The effective daily environment for more and more urban people is the metropolitan macrocommunity. As life moves to a metropolitan scale, the term community takes on new meanings. This chapter attempts to answer the following ques- tions: (1) What are the characteristics of people's experience at the macrocommunity level? Do city and suburban life differ significantly? (2) What factors influence people's satisfaction with their residential environment? What is the effective residential environment? Chapter 4 will examine what remains of the microcommunity in the metro- politan environment. NEW MEANINGS OF COMMUNITY. . . 47

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THE METROPOLITAN EXPERIENCE Metropolitan facilities and services are varied, and metropolitan groups are diverse. A significant increase in facilities for satisfying needs and wants accompanies population aggregation. The heterogeneity of large population concentrations increases the range of options for social interaction. As transportation and communica- tions have improved, these service and social options have been distributed over wider areas. Urban people are now able to move about an entire area to gain access to preferred facilities and groups. Urban Facilities. The quantity and in some cases the quality of stores, amusements, public and private services, and the like, vary to an important degree with community size. The presence of specialists of various sorts seems to require minimum levels of population. The larger the popu- lation, the more likely the individual is to find the particular good or service he seeks. The ready availability of goods and services is a characteristic of the metropolitan experience. During phases of metropolitan deconcentration, facilities and services may be at a relative premium in suburbs, although city facilities are, of course, accessible for suburbanites. However, as population and wealth move outward, facilities (stores, meeting halls, amusement complexes) do the same, perhaps eventually leav- ing the central city with fewer facilities and services. A similar ten- dency is evident with respect to government services. Urban Population. Large urban population aggregates are characteristically heterogene- ous. In Western societies, that is most likely because of the numerous economic opportunities offered in cities and their position on trans- portation paths. These features attract diverse people and activities. As ethnic groups have settled in urban areas, urban populations have become more varied. Ethnic neighborhoods, of relatively low socioeconomic status, have been pictured as provincial villagelike units that keep to themselves and closely control their members. 48 TOWARD AN UNDERSTANDING OF METROPOLITAN AMERICA

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However, many of these areas were never so detached from the wider community as has been assumed. For example, in Chicago only about one-half of the Italian migrants settled in Italian colonies; the other half were quite dispersed. For this dispersed population, the concentrated Italian colonies functioned as a cultural center where they could visit, buy ethnic goods, and maintain cultural, connec- tions. Many areas of the metropolis—for example, Chicago's China- town—continue to function as an initial settlement point for migrants and immigrants but also serve a much wider population. Even black ghettos, which frequently are genuine places of confinement, may act as cultural centers—for example, Harlem. Diversity is internally generated by population size as well. Large cities have a variety of occupational, common-interest, and life-style subcultures (for example, bohemia, academia, various business and professional groups, criminal underworld, the "singles set"). Job spe- cialization and diversification of life styles increase as population increases and spur the development of distinctive subgroups. At the same time, metropolitan populations provide the large numbers of people necessary to sustain these distinctive groups. Research repeatedly finds that as urban units increase in size, their populations become less traditional and less conservative. This is true for various aspects of life, including race relations, sexual behavior, the family, religion, and law and politics. The "deviant" nature of cities is consistent historically and cross-culturally, suggest- ing that a more open attitude may be an intrinsic feature of urban life. Generally, it is to the urban centers that deviants of all sorts come, find supportive comrades, and maintain distinctive subcultures. These subgroups have protected their members and also affected the com- munity by making others aware of their values. Consequently, cities historically have been the scenes of scientific, economic, social, and political innovation as well as of turbulance and dislocation. As a result of urban diversity, one can find areas as cosmopoli- tan as Greenwich Village or as provincial as the Addams area on the West Side of Chicago. These contrasts expand the opportunities for varied experience. Were the population of New York City randomly distributed, the opportunities to enjoy the city's ethnic and cultural centers would be lost. NEW MEANINGS OF COMMUNITY... 49

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The experience of the urban resident is highly likely to involve contact with alien groups, groups whose life styles or interests are different from his. However, the various groups are not entirely separate; they overlap and intersect at many points. In the light of research on small-group processes, one could expect this situation to be accompanied by contrasts of the "us" versus "them" kind, accentuating boundaries between the groups. There are some bits of evidence that the larger the size of community, the sharper such intergroup lines are. For instance, social classes seem more distinct and more important politically in larger cities. On the other hand, the boundaries may be more rapidly eroded in large cities. Vital subcul- tures existing side by side may lead to positive as well as negative contacts. Thus the diffusion of beliefs and practices among culturally distinct groups is likely to be greater in large population aggregates. In sum, urban social structure is diverse and pluralistic. Urban- ism provides all types of people with the opportunity to be among people with similar interests, and the more unique the individual, the more that opportunity depends on population size. An artist, intellec- tual, or chess fiend might have great difficulty supporting his interests in a small community. The diversity of metropolitan subcultures and their contacts makes metropolitan areas the sites of innovations and opportunities of many kinds. Inventions start among small urban groups, spread to other urban people, and then to the nation. This process, moving forward on many fronts simultaneously, provides a wide range of options for the individual. lings The metropolitan experience is manifold, and of jf opportunity in terms of both facilities and social contact. It substitutes translocal for local associations and interests. Personal Relationships Certain types of social interaction are presumed to be more frequent in urban settings. The long-standing distinction between primary- 50 TOWARD AN UNDERSTANDING OF METROPOLITAN AMERICA

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group and secondary-group relationships is particularly relevant in the metropolis. In primary-group relationships, people interact as whole personalities and are involved with one another in a variety of ways (for example, families or close friends). In secondary rela- tionships, the relationship exists for a particular purpose and people know only single facets of one another (for example, store clerk and customer, teacher and pupil). In urban life, individuals presumably have more secondary relationships (one cannot know personally every clerk, customer, bus driver, and so on, as one presumably does in a small town). However, there is little if any decline in the number or the depth of primary relationships, nor are there any particular personality changes. Urban life offers a large number of potential secondary relationships in addition to, rather than in substitution for, primary ones. One effect of urban people's mobility and wider range of social interaction may be that they are less strange to one another than is commonly believed. The proposition has been forwarded that friendships are less numerous or more shallow in the urban setting; however, there are few data to support the hypothesis and no empiri- cal reason as yet to believe that urban life isolates people from important social relationships. Friendship ties are probably more dispersed but no less significant. Findings At present, the best evidence suggests that the metropolitan expe- rience involves an increase in the number and variety of impersonal (secondary) relationships and that the frequency and quality of personal and intimate (primary) relationships has remained virtu- ally unchanged. Prevalence of Crime and Violence There can be no question that crime is a major contemporary con- cern. There seems little doubt that the large-city resident is more NEW MEANINGS OF COMMUNITY.. 51

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likely to encounter criminality than the person in the small town. Higher urban crime rates are reflected in city residents' awareness of danger. Fear of walking the streets alone at night is prevalent in all urban communities but highest where populations exceed one million. Property crime and vice seem to accompany population growth in almost all cases, partly because large populations create opportu- nities for such crimes—consumers of vice, accumulations of prop- erty, and the aggregation of criminals fosters the rise of underworld activities and organization. Violent crime is a different matter. In this connection, one must keep in mind that crimes against the person occur most frequently between relatives and acquaintances; in 90 percent of the cases of homicide, the victim knew his assailant. Socioeconomic and ethnic factors appear to influence the level of violence more than popula- tion size. Indeed, cross-culturally and historically, rural areas have predominated in violent lawlessness. While the average crime rate is lower in the suburbs than in the city, it is increasing in the former at a more rapid rate. Criminals, like other urban people, are becoming increasingly mobile, and attempts to deal effectively with urban crime will have to be made at the metropolitan level, not by fragmented local governments. Findings When sodoeconomic and ethnic factors are taken into account, it is not clear that cities perse breed violence, though theydopresent more opportunity for property crimes and vice. Effects on Health The physical nature of the city seems to be a persistent source of distress for its residents. A number of irritants, particularly noise and 52 TOWARD AN UNDERSTANDING OF METROPOLITAN AMERICA

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pollution, increase with increases in community size. Some increase in both noise and dirt probably accompanies all population aggrega- tion, but the levels present in the modern metropolis could probably be reduced. A recent National Research Council examination in 1972, of children ages 6 to 11 found no association between community size and hearing sensitivity. Furthermore, there is little evidence of urban- rural differences in the presence of psychosomatic symptoms that one might expect from noise. Pollution might be expected to influ- ence health, and cities historically have been unhealthy places be- cause of sewage problems and epidemics. In recent times, these hazards have been reduced or erased by medical advances and modern methods of sanitation. Of course, intense recurrent smog may indeed result in substantial harm to the health, particularly for persons who already suffer from heart or lung disease. There is convincing evidence that air pollution does cause ill health and higher mortality rates (e.g., National Research Council, 1972). On the whole, some amount of noise and pollution is probably an inevi- table concomitant of urban life, with pollution, at least, imposing a degree of biological damage. The psychological consequences, how- ever, are probably negligible. Population density is, of course, characteristic of the metropolis, and crowds are often considered to be one of the irritants of the city. We do not know to what extent people actually spend time in crowds, but the real picture can be nowhere near the stereotypic image. The assumption behind much of the current literature on urban life—that city people spend a significant part of their lives crowded—is questionable. Another popular assumption—-that popu- lation density has serious negative social consequences—is also questionable. Other than a small number of animal studies with dubious relevance, there are few data to support that view. To the extent that available space does not meet their personal demands, people will feel "crowded" and psychological effects perhaps will result. But density per se seems to have little psychological effect. Another hypothesis about urban life is that it results in stresses and tensions that are deleterious for the individual. It is doubtful that stress is a significant part of the average urbanite's experience or that NEW MEANINGS OF COMMUNITY. . . 53

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it cannot be handled. Certainly, there is little evidence that the symp- toms of stress are more common in cities. For instance, one interna- tional survey (Inkeles, 1969) reported no real urban-rural differences in psychosomatic symptoms. It is also theorized that the strain of urban life, together with the hypothesized disintegration of close supportive social ties in urban environments, should lead to psychiatric disorders. It is difficult to assess whether the incidence of such disorders increases with urban- ism. One difficulty, for example, is that admissions to mental hospi- tals are partly a function of the availability of such institutions, and availability is greater in urban areas. Also, forthrightness about psy- chological difficulties is affected by potential social stigmatization, which varies by community size. One recent review (Dohrenwend & Dohrenwend, 1971) of nine varied and international studies of the incidence of psychological disorders concludes that neurosis tends to be more common in urban areas and psychosis is more common in rural ones. Most of the available data are mixed and generally inconclusive, especially if one seeks to isolate the specific effects of urban life per se. Findings There is evidence that pollution does cause some cat damage. There is very little support, however, for the theory that city life impairs mental functioning in ways that can be termed psychiatric disorders. CITY-SUBURBAN DIFFERENCES IN BEHAVIOR City and suburban residents who are otherwise similar probably have the same degree of personal involvement in their respective commu- nities. While the frequency of interaction among neighbors in con- temporary urban areas is low, there is actually no standard of what should be expected. It may be that occasional and somewhat superfi- cial contacts with neighbors suffice as a complement to more time- 54 TOWARD AN UNDERSTANDING OF METROPOLITAN AMERICA

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consuming associations with friends, colleagues, and relatives. A study (Hawley & Zimmer, 1970) of six metropolitan areas found that only one-third of the suburban residents had any contact with the occupants of adjacent houses; the proportion in central cities was even less. Now as never before, people are able to choose their associates and their avocations from an area at least as broad as the metropolitan community. Suburbanites may have more contact with neighbors, commu- nity civic groups, and the immediate family and less contact with other relatives and former friends. In comparison with a central city resident, a suburbanite may have more close and personal local interactions. However, hard data are difficult to come by, and a Los Angeles study (Seeman etal., 1971) reports little evidence to support the proposition. What city-suburban differences do exist may be largely attribut- able to class and ethnic differences. Suburban residents—once social class is controlled—are probably less involved politically in their communities than are central city residents, although new residents are more civically active than older residents. Perceived threats to the community, however, will stimulate political involvement. An apt conclusion about the central city-suburban experience—as much as can be said about it—is provided by Gans in his study, The Levittowners (1967, pp. 288-289): The findings on changes [which occur when city families move to the suburbs] and their sources suggest that the distinction between urban and suburban ways of living postulated by the critics (and by some sociologists as well) is more imaginary than real. Few changes can be traced to the suburban qualities of Levittown, and the sources that did cause change, like the house, the population mix, and newness, are not distinctively suburban. Moreover, when one looks at similar populations in city and suburb, their ways of life are remarkably alike. For example, when suburbs are compared to the large urban residential areas beyond the downtown and inner districts, culture and social structure are virtually the same among people of similar age and class. Young lower middle class families in these areas live much like their peers in the suburbs, but quite unlike older, upper middle class ones, in either urban or suburban neighbor- hoods. The crucial difference between cities and suburbs then is that they are NEW MEANINGS OF COMMUNITY. . . 55

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often home for different kinds of people. If one is to understand their behavior, these differences are much more important than whether they reside inside or outside the city limits. Inner-city residential areas are home to the rich, the poor, and the nonwhite, as well as the unmarried and the childless middle class. Their ways of life differ from those of suburbanites and people in the outer city, but because they are not young working or lower or upper middle class families. If populations and residential areas were described by age and class characteristics, and by racial, ethnic, and religious ones, our understanding of human settlements would be much improved. Using such concepts as "urban" and "suburban" as causal variables adds little, on the other hand, except for ecological and demo- graphic analyses of communities as a whole and for studies of political behavior. Findings City-suburban differences in patterns of living, ences in community involvement and frequency of contact with neighbors, are almost entirely explained by socioeconomic differ- ences. The remaining differences are probably caused by self-selec- tion; that is, those who already possess a certain characteristic elect to move to a location that attracts people of that type. The charac- teristic is not caused by the location. SATISFACTION WITH RESIDENTIAL ENVIRONMENTS During the past decade, a number of empirical studies have sought to analyze people's responses to their residential environments. Re- cently, survey research has been used to investigate both people's preferences and the quality of American life—one aspect of which is individual level of satisfaction with one's residential community. Going beyond sample-survey findings like those of Gallup or Harris, the Institute for Social Research has sought to develop a framework within which past and subsequent data may be analyzed. At present, the available knowledge merely suggests where further work is needed and is not conclusive. Nevertheless, the information avail- able does indicate great variation in both the size and the attributes 56 TOWARD AN UNDERSTANDING OF METROPOLITAN AMERICA

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of people's effective environments. It also underlines the variety of factors that affect satisfaction with one's residential environment. One point that may seem obvious but is often neglected is that the quality of life for an individual or a group is a composite of life experiences and is influenced by many factors, such as family, friends, work, and recreation. These factors are increasingly dis- persed in an urban setting. Residential environment is another factor, although its boundaries are often uncertain in the minds of the occu- pants. Residential satisfaction is affected, for example, by the public services provided by local governments. Determining what attributes of residence people consider relevant is a complex empirical ques- tion. In addition to the vast number of community or neighborhood attributes, there are different standards against which different peo- ple judge them. Density, access, services, and other factors that have very subjective aspects are all involved. Unfortunately for those concerned with shaping policy and programs, the empirical base required to identify the determinants of community satisfaction is at a very early stage of development. Nevertheless, the available evi- dence permits certain preliminary inferences that may be helpful. Accessibility and Density Historically, country people seem to have included the cities in their latent effective environment. The movement to large population ag- gregates continues in the United States and in the world at large. One reason for this pattern is the urban image—the city is a place of opportunity, largely economic opportunity, but also opportunity for entertainment and excitement. Today, surveys of public attitudes indicate that people prefer to have access to the facilities of metro- politan areas while retaining a residential location in the less densely settled portions of those areas. Although many people express a preference for places the size of those in which they reside, an increasing number of people prefer places smaller than the areas in which they currently reside. (In part, this finding may be influenced by the categories used and the lack of reference to accessibility.) With age, the preference for less densely settled areas increases moderately. Whatever the size of present place of residence, a sig- NEW MEANINGS OF COMMUNITY. .. 57

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nificant minority expresses a preference for residence in a place of different size. Size preferences should not be evaluated indepen- dently, however. In a Wisconsin survey (Zuiches & Fuguitt, 1971) a large majority expressed a preference for residing outside a city but within easy commuting distance of it. Of those now living in a metropolitan community, about 85 percent expressed a preference for such a location (within 30 miles of a large city). Similarly, about half of the nonmetropolitan population would prefer to live in a metropolitan environment (again, within 30 miles of a large city). In short, in a metropolitan environment, people seem to seek both accessibility and space. Better transportation has increased ac- cessibility in recent decades, and greater distance from the city cen- ter usually means lower population density and less noise, traffic, pollution, and crowding. It also may permit more housing space and more outdoor space with relatively little net loss in accessibility to the facilities of the metropolis. Public Services Survey research (Marans & Rodgers, 1974) indicates that residents' satisfaction with their community is affected by their assessment of specific public services and costs. These include such things as public schools, police protection, and garbage collection and the level of taxation required to support them. Eight public service attributes were investigated. The attributes all were related to general satisfac- tion with the community, although the strength of the relationships varied a great deal. When combined, the attributes explained a significant, though modest, fraction of the overall variance in resi- dents' satisfaction with their communities. (The attributes included public schools, police protection, parks and playgrounds, garbage collection, police-community relations, public transportation, streets and roads, and taxation.) Site Design One of the paradoxes of the expansion of urban life is that as the residential neighborhood has waned as a social unit, it has gained 58 TOWARD AN UNDERSTANDING OF METROPOLITAN AMERICA

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importance among city planners as a unit of urban design. The as- sumption appears to be that if a residential area is held to a given size, developed with certain distinctive architectural or design features, and built about a school or shopping center, the residents will enter into frequent associations and cultivate a relatively intense local life. The "physical design" tradition has a long history in the United States. Its achievements include such early efforts as Pullman in South Chicago, a complete town built for company employees in 1881; Ebenezer Howard's Garden City; Forest Gardens on Long Island, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr.; Shaker Heights in Ohio, built by the Van Sweringen brothers; and, in the 1930s, three greenbelt towns, for which Rexford Tugwell was the public entre- preneur. In time, as deconcentrating movement occurred, these became elements of suburbia. Among the intellectual influences on planners' ideas of community design, Clarence Perry's concept of the "neighborhood unit" may have been the most significant. Perry not only sought to link social and physical considerations, but also argued for sharply bounded territorial units and a physical design that increases the distinctness of such units. He stressed the positive value of local unity. His concept included generating social communities by building a variety of social service agencies around a single territo- rial focus. Perry's influence, however, led to an emphasis on the integration of territorially defined communities at a time when how nearby a person lives was declining as a basis for preferential associa- tion. Moreover, it has been asserted that the neighborhood unit tended to crystallize or worsen existing patterns of segregation. In recent years, a few private builders who seek to construct total communities rather than merely subdivisions of marketable homes have set new directions in urban planning. Columbia, Mary- land, and Reston, Virginia, are well-known examples and seem to have been reasonably successful in meeting many of the public and private needs of their residents, who have been predominantly young and mobile. As the communities have been settled, there has been considerable social interaction, but there is no reason to believe that it has been exceptional in comparison with other suburban developments during their formative years. In Sweden, where new communities have been built with an even fuller complement of NEW MEANINGS OF COMMUNITY. . 59

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nonresidential facilities, participation in local social activities is mod- erate and about the same as in older communities. In essence, the limitation of physical design as an approach to the creation of communities is that it can only express what is present in the culture; it cannot alter it. Moreover, in the absence of a conceptual framework and empirical data for analyzing what is present in the culture, the experience and preferences of the planner and developer tend to take over. Following Gans, one can probably say that plans do not match the variability of the population and that practice commonly departs from plan. Thus, if the population is highly mobile, the residential area will be utilized in a cosmopolitan fashion rather than in the localized way envisaged in the plan. If business interests predominate, those interests will be reflected in the actual pattern of residential construction. If the price of land is cheaper on the periphery and prospective residents have transporta- tion, the construction of new residential communities will prove more feasible beyond the boundaries of cities and further stimulate and accelerate the deconcentration of the cities. In the past several years, research on the relationship between residential satisfaction and site design has been undertaken in both the United States and abroad. One of the early findings was that the evaluation of planners and other nonresidents was often at variance with the evaluation of people living in the community. While studies found that the individual dwelling and its social setting were of some importance in how people assessed their environment, they also disclosed that most people, including many of those living in "sub- standard" environments, were fairly content with the communities in which they lived. Recently, there have been efforts to assess the relationship between various degrees of site planning and resident satisfaction with the community. Levels of resident satisfaction in self-contained new towns, redeveloped central city neighborhoods, and sections of incorporated suburban communities have been com- pared in relation to the extent of planning. Manipulation of specific attributes of the physical environment according to accepted plan- ning principles was the measure of the extent of planning. For in- stance, the amount of open space, the density of residential development, the presence of trees and water, and the time-distance 60 TOWARD AN UNDERSTANDING OF METROPOLITAN AMERICA

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between housing and shops, schools, swimming pools, parks and other facilities are attributes of the environment that can be mea- sured, observed, and assessed. They also can be varied by planners for economic, aesthetic, or other reasons. In one study (Lansing et al., 1970) ten communities, in which the extent of planning ranged from low to high, were selected for comparison. When residents were asked to indicate their current level of satisfaction with the area in which they lived, most indicated that it was high. Although a greater degree of planning tended to be associated with high satisfaction, some communities in which the extent of planning was great received low satisfaction ratings. A re- view of the reasons offered did not find any clear patterns of at- tributes, liked or disliked, to be associated with the extent of plan- ning. In sum, people's satisfaction with their residential environments may be influenced by the alternatives they believe are available in the metropolitan region, by their perceptions of the costs and effec- tiveness of public services, and by the characteristics they see as important in their immediate neighborhoods and dwellings. In addi- tion, the assessment may be affected by other aspects of life. Findings Many factors influence people's evaluations of their residential environments. This may help to explain why, although there is a tendency for higher levels of satisfaction to be associated with a higher degree of residential planning, no clear patterns of liked or disliked attributes are associated with different levels of planning. Moreover, studies of the quality of life indicate residential satis- faction is partially based on assessments of such nonsite attributes as public schools, police-community relations, and local taxes. Measures of Satisfaction Objective indicators of social conditions—for example, gross na- tional product, unemployment rates, price indexes, number of hous- NEW MEANINGS OF COMMUNITY... 61

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ing starts, number of high school graduates, and birth and death rates —are well known and useful in understanding our society and the changes taking place within it. However, the human significance of an objective indicator is not always obvious. Subjective indicators are needed as a supplement, because a person's satisfaction with any set of circumstances depends not only on the circumstances them- selves, but on a whole set of values, attitudes, and expectations that he brings to the situation. At least two operations occur when an individual evaluates a situation. First, he perceives the situation. Discrepancies between reality and perception often occur. Second, he assesses the situation, as perceived, against some standard. The standard not only may be composed of many elements, but also may be situation-specific, that is, applicable only to the situation under consideration and not to all situations. And, of course, the characteristics of the person influence the standard. A person's evaluation of the quality of his life depends on a complex process of comparison. For example, objective measures of income and need are insufficient to explain satisfaction with income. Data from cross-national studies indicate that life satisfaction is re- lated to income (Marans, 1974). Evaluation of one's standard of living seems to depend on comparison with the standard of living of a reference group that is primarily national in scope. As Cantril (1965) illustrated, by quotations from respondents in a cross-national study of life satisfaction, residents of different nations can have strik- ingly diverse concepts of the best possible life. Similar, though less striking, differences may occur among groups within a nation. A recent comparison of satisfaction levels of black and white respon- dents in 15 cities in the United States found that the blacks generally expressed considerably less satisfaction with their situation than did whites (Campbell, 1971). This is hardly surprising given the objective situation of black people in the United States. However, the discrep- ancies persisted even when income and education were taken into account. The data raise the question whether the major source of discontent and protest among urban blacks is really their below- average incomes and housing or rather the overall pattern of exclu- sion and subordination they encounter in a white society. 62 TOWARD AN UNDERSTANDING OF METROPOLITAN AMERICA

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In evaluation of satisfaction with a residential environment, then, subjective measures may be different from traditional objective indicators. There is need for both. Each takes on further meaning as it can be related to the other. While some objective measures of residential areas may in fact have little to do with the satisfaction experienced by residents, subjective measures may in some circum- stances simply reflect a lack of awareness of the range of objective alternatives available. Discrepancies between objective and subjec- tive indicators, however, may point to the need for further evalu- ation, and in so doing they serve a useful purpose. In a quality-of-life study (Marans & Rodgers, 1974) based on national survey data, multivariate analysis techniques were used to get at the relationship between objective and subjective indicators of the quality of neighborhoods. Substantial correlations were found between objective indicators and respondent perceptions regarding three aspects of the residential environment: (1) upkeep of neighbor- hood structures, (2) size, and (3) racial composition. Respondents also were asked to express their levels of satisfaction with the neigh- borhood and to assess the neighborhood in terms of a set of five items: (1) condition of housing, (2) neighbors, (3) whether it is safe to walk outside at night, (4) how important it is to lock doors when not in the dwelling unit, and (5) convenience. Multivariate analysis using both objective measures and respondent assessments leads to the conclusion that the explanatory power of the objective indicators relative to neighborhood satisfaction is modified by the intervention of subjective factors; the assessments of specific neighborhood char- acteristics reflect the objective characteristics, and the specific as- sessments in turn affect the level of expressed satisfaction with the neighborhood as a whole. lultivariate analysis shows that the links between objective anc subjective measures of environmental attributes are substantial. The impact of environmental characteristics, as measured by ob- jective indicators, on residents' satisfaction with their neighbor- hoods is moderately strong, but other factors intervene. NEW MEANINGS OF COMMUNITY. . 63

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Common Standards Demographic characteristics such as age, race, and educational level are sometimes presumed to have a direct effect on satisfaction with one's environment. However, evidence from a quality-of-life study (Marans & Rodgers, 1974) suggests that whatever the influence of these characteristics, the individual's assessment of particular at- tributes of the environment has a much closer relationship to level of satisfaction than to such factors as age. The strength and direction of the relationship between assessments of particular attributes and overall satisfaction with the environment did not differ greatly by age, race, or education. Thus, these characteristics may not play as important a role in people's satisfaction with their environments as has sometimes been assumed. In most instances, the same commu- nity attributes seem to matter to people of all sorts; the sources of dissatisfaction for one type of person are likely to be sources of discontent for everyone. The major differences in evaluations of the environment are differences between objective indicators and subjective measure- ments. Subjective measurements will, of course, vary, but people do share common standards, and these generally exert more influence on evaluations of the environment than do differences among peo- ple. UNDIFFERENTIATED LIVING SPACE Some people do not seem to differentiate much between their mi- croneighborhoods, consisting of the houses in the immediate vicini- ties of their dwellings, and the macroneighborhood, by which is often meant grade school districts or areas bounded by major thor- oughfares. Indeed, the various residential environments—mi- croneighborhood, macroneighborhood, metropolitan area—may simply represent a set of interacting domains that comprise an indi- vidual's life space. Attributes that determine satisfaction with any level of the residential environment may overlap those that deter- mine satisfaction with another level. Marans and Rodgers (1974) 64 TOWARD AN UNDERSTANDING OF METROPOLITAN AMERICA

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were unable to find any distinction between micro- and macroneigh- borhoods, since both are equally indicative of community satisfac- tion. And, of course, for some purposes, the effective environment is metropolitan in scale. People do not clearly differentiate between their micro- and mac- ro-neighborhoods. The characteristics of one are often confused with those of the other. In summary, the metropolis is characterized by a wide range of opportunities. The opportunities arise from the variety of urban facili- ties and from the diversity of social groups. Life at the metropolitan level substitutes mobility for nearness and translocal for neighbor- hood interests and relationships. It does not seem to change the ways in which people relate to one another but it does tend to increase the diversity of contacts. Whether residence is in the city or the suburbs does not affect behavior, although socioeconomic differ- ences that are likely to exist between city and suburb do exert an influence. In the metropolitan context, many factors influence people's evaluations of their residential environments. While urban planning seems to produce a higher level of satisfaction with the residential environment, no clear patterns of liked or disliked environmental attributes are associated with different degrees of planning. In part, this may be because people do not make clear distinctions between their micro- and macroneighborhoods. Certainly, further study and analysis of residential satisfaction are needed to provide a basis for policy in this area. NEW MEANINGS OF COMMUNITY. . . 65

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