The Assessment of Social and Physical Dimensions of Neighborhood Environment on Residents’ Mental Health and Wellbeing case study: Roshdiyeh Neighborhood of Tabriz

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Architecture and Urbanism, School of Urban design, Tabriz Art University, Tabriz, Iran

2 Department of Architecture and Urbanism, Tabriz Islamic Art University, Tabriz, Iran

3 Department of Architecture and Urbanism, School of Urban design, Tabriz Islamic Art University, Tabriz, Iran


The prevalence of chronic health problems, both in mental and physical dimensions, are on the rise in today’s society. In the meantime, public health as an indicator of social capital is an important issue in furtherance of societies’ objectives. The neighborhood physical and social environment in various aspects could define the health-related behaviors and might lead to inequalities in mental health and wellbeing of residents in different structures. The aim of current research is to investigate the factors influencing the mental health and wellbeing of residents, also assessing the relationship between health and neighborhood’s environment in residential areas with different spatial structures in terms of density and public open spaces. The methodological approach conducting the research is mixed method. The sampling strategy in choosing site, qualitative and quantitative part of the research is respectively “purposive sampling”, “snowballing sampling” and “stratified sampling”. The researchers classify the Roshdiyeh neighborhood in three different spatial configurations, “inscribed semi-private open space (low density)”, “escribed semi-private open space (medium density)”, “inscribed semi-public open space (high density)”; and also the relationship between variables have been assessed in terms of four social scales as follows: individual scale, innermost scale, local scale and immediate local surrounding scale. The first phase of the research has been allocated to quantitative- objective assessment of the neighborhood’s physical environment by Built Environment Audit tool, in which the blocks of the neighborhood have been divided into 205 segments. In the second phase the lived experiences of residents have been emerged by applying the Data-based Analysis Style.The third phase evaluates the influential effects of variables on mental disorders and wellbeing by using multivariate linear regression analysis; Also, in order to find the means that are significantly different between three residential types, Tukey test in conjunction with post-hoc analysis have been used. The evidences demonstrate that respectively the residents of inscribed semi-private open space (low density), escribed semi-private open space (medium density) and inscribed semi-public open space (high density) blocks significantly experience less psychological distress. According to the total adjusted R squares, the individual scale (age, gender, income) has the greatest effect on the wellbeing of residents (σAR2 0.419) and the innermost scale has the least effect on wellbeing (σAR2 0.076). while the innermost scale (management of shared spaces, safety, collective identity, social inequalities) has the influential determination on mental disorders (σAR2 0.158) and the immediate local surrounding have a weak role in determining mental disorders (σAR2 0.013). so it can be concluded that consideration of the flexible aspects of the neighborhood’s social and physical environment, at different spatial scales, could lead to improved mental health. Thus, by exploring the confounding factors that are likely to affect mental health and wellbeing of residents could result in improved interaction between various variables. So the interaction of structures and agency is an important issue in articulating the knowledge about the neighborhood’s effect on health inequalities. At the end, external and internal structures have different effects on mental health and wellbeing of residents in various spatial configurations.


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