Thesis title: A new debate: The correlations of neighbourhood design and socio-economic factor on mental well-being
Primary supervisor: Dr. Claudio De Magalhaes
Secondary supervisor: Dr. Sonia Arbaci
Starting date: October 2011
Projected completion date: January 2018
There is growing research and policy interests in the impacts of the neighbourhood design on mental well-being since 1980s. Despite the well-documented significance of urban form and social dimension of sustainability, it is still not clear how different kinds of neighbourhood design and its association with different levels of socio-economic status (SES) affect residents’ sense of community (SoC) and fear of crime (FoC) - two principles proving by a wealth of research as critical to mental well-being. The central objective of this research therefore offers an in-depth analysis employing the cross-sectional studies in Bangkok, Thailand to evaluate the impact of neighbourhood design and SES as well as the mechanism of the associations between these factors and mental well-being, to understand how neighbourhood design and SES mediate residents’ SoC and FoC, and in which direction. Bangkok makes an interesting case study for the city has the significant emergence of gated communities (GCs) for four decades, yet gating phenomena and its influence to the wider society remains understudied. Six communities across Bangkok were carefully selected to represent neighbourhood designs (i.e. gated and non-gated communities) and socio-economic statuses (i.e. low-, medium-, and high-SES). The background study began from May 2012 to May 2017 using satellite imaginaries and observations, while the cross-sectional studies took place from August 2012 to January 2013 using self-report questionnaires (N = 743, n = 499, response rate 67 per cent) and interviews. Four statistical measures including the two-way ANOVA, the Pearson coefficient, Levene’s Test and two-sample t-Test were employed to test 6 hypotheses. Findings showed that in 2017 Bangkok had 2,705 GCs, with “security” claimed to be a key motivation for a rise following closely by the “environment within a community”. Statistical results deriving from the cross-sectional studies revealed positive correlations between neighbourhood design and SoC as well as FoC, pointing that non-GCs had higher levels of both SoC and FoC than GCs. Interestingly, SES factor only had a positive correlation on SoC, but not FoC, and that there had no negative correlation between SoC and FoC as many believe. Inclusion of these examinations should bridge the gap in current literature and lead to practical solutions for urban planners and designers.
- Publications and other work
Academic TextbookSuwannasang, V. (2015). Urban gating in Thailand: The new debates. In S. Bagaeen & O. Uduku (Eds.), Beyond gated communities (pp. 90-113). London and New York: Routledge.
- Suwannasang, V. (2012). Quality of life and city resilience: The effects of physical boundary of gated communities on sense of community and fear of crime in the United Kingdom. Paper presented at the AESOP YA, Vienna, Austria. Abstract retrieved from http://www.aesop-youngacademics.net/ya/members/profile/veeramon-suwannasang
- Suwannasang, V. (2013a). City resilience. Paper presented at the AESOP YA Conference, Vienna, Austria.
- Suwannasang, V. (2013b). Quality of life Paper presented at the IJAS Conference, Harvard University, United States.
- Suwannasang, V. (2013c). Quality of life and city resilience. Paper presented at the RC21 Conference: Resourceful cities, Berlin, Germany. http://www.rc21.org/conferences/berlin2013/prog-14.php
- Suwannasang, V. (2013d). Quality of life and city resilience: The effects of physical boundary of gated communities on sense of community and fear of crime in the United Kingdom. Paper presented at the Gated communities research conference, University of Brighton.
United Nations Report and Analysis
- Suwannasang, V. (2015a). On wage-led growth: Recent experience in the United States UNESCAP. Economic and social survey of Asia and the Pacific 2015 - Part II: Balancing the three dimensions of sustainable development: From integration to implementation. Bangkok: United Nations ESCAP.
- Suwannasang, V. (2015b). Renewable energy as a niche in sustainable development. Transformation for sustainable development: Promoting Environmental Sustainability in Asia and the Pacific. Analysis. Environment and Development Policy Section, Environment and Development Division. Bangkok: United Nations ESCAP.
- Suwannasang, V. (2015c). Science policy interface (SPI) as a niche in sustainable development: Examples of Australia. Niche analysis for transformation to sustainable development. Analysis. Environment and Development Division. Bangkok: United Nations ESCAP.
- Suwannasang, V. (2015d). Urban development transformation for a sustainable future. Transformation for sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific. Analysis. Environment and Development Policy Section, Environment and Development Division. Bangkok: United Nations ESCAP.
Lecturer: Undergraduated level courses for Urban Planning and Architectural School. Lecturing in Sustainable development, Transformation, Quality of life, Research methodology
Sustainable development researcher for United Nations ESCAP on the macro and the regional scope; Urban planning consultant for Bangkok’s urban regeneration at the city scope; and Sustainable development and transformation specialist on urban planning and architectural designing at MCP Architect Co., Ltd. on the more local scope.