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A neighbourhood (British English, Australian English and Canadian English) or neighborhood (American English; see spelling differences—u is omitted in American English) is a geographically localised community within a larger city, town, suburb or rural area. Neighbourhoods are often social communities with considerable face-to-face interaction among members. Researchers have not agreed on an exact definition, but the following may serve as a starting point: "Neighbourhood is generally defined spatially as a specific geographic area and functionally as a set of social networks. Neighbourhoods, then, are the spatial units in which face-to-face social interactions occur—the personal settings and situations where residents seek to realise common values, socialise youth, and maintain effective social control."[ clarification needed ]
In the words of the urban scholar Lewis Mumford, “Neighbourhoods, in some annoying, inchoate fashion exist wherever human beings congregate, in permanent family dwellings; and many of the functions of the city tend to be distributed naturally—that is, without any theoretical preoccupation or political direction—into neighbourhoods.”Most of the earliest cities around the world as excavated by archaeologists have evidence for the presence of social neighbourhoods. Historical documents shed light on neighbourhood life in numerous historical preindustrial or nonwestern cities.
Neighbourhoods are typically generated by social interaction among people living near one another. In this sense they are local social units larger than households not directly under the control of city or state officials. In some preindustrial urban traditions, basic municipal functions such as protection, social regulation of births and marriages, cleaning and upkeep are handled informally by neighbourhoods and not by urban governments; this pattern is well documented for historical Islamic cities.
In addition to social neighbourhoods, most ancient and historical cities also had administrative districts used by officials for taxation, record-keeping, and social control.Administrative districts are typically larger than neighbourhoods and their boundaries may cut across neighbourhood divisions. In some cases, however, administrative districts coincided with neighbourhoods, leading to a high level of regulation of social life by officials. For example, in the T’ang period Chinese capital city Chang’an, neighbourhoods were districts and there were state officials who carefully controlled life and activity at the neighbourhood level.
Neighbourhoods in preindustrial cities often had some degree of social specialisation or differentiation. Ethnic neighbourhoods were important in many past cities and remain common in cities today. Economic specialists, including craft producers, merchants, and others, could be concentrated in neighbourhoods, and in societies with religious pluralism neighbourhoods were often specialised by religion. One factor contributing to neighbourhood distinctiveness and social cohesion in past cities was the role of rural to urban migration. This was a continual process in preindustrial cities, and migrants tended to move in with relatives and acquaintances from their rural past.
Neighbourhood sociology is a subfield of urban sociology which studies local communitiesNeighbourhoods are also used in research studies from postal codes and health disparities, to correlations with school drop out rates or use of drugs.
Neighbourhoods have been the site of service delivery or "service interventions" in part as efforts to provide local, quality services, and to increase the degree of local control and ownership.Alfred Kahn, as early as the mid-1970s, described the "experience, theory and fads" of neighbourhood service delivery over the prior decade, including discussion of income transfers and poverty. Neighbourhoods, as a core aspect of community, also are the site of services for youth, including children with disabilities and coordinated approaches to low-income populations. While the term neighbourhood organisation is not as common in 2015, these organisations often are non-profit, sometimes grassroots or even core funded community development centres or branches.
Community and economic development activists have pressured for reinvestment in local communities and neighbourhoods. In the early 2000s, Community Development Corporations, Rehabilitation Networks, Neighbourhood Development Corporations, and Economic Development organisations would work together to address the housing stock and the infrastructures of communities and neighbourhoods (e.g., community centres).Community and Economic Development may be understood in different ways, and may involve "faith-based" groups and congregations in cities.
In the 1900s, Clarence Perry described the idea of a neighbourhood unit as a self-contained residential area within a city. The concept is still influential in New Urbanism. Practitioners seek to revive traditional sociability in planned suburban housing based on a set of principles. At the same time, the neighbourhood is a site of interventions to create Age-Friendly Cities and Communities (AFCC) as many older adults tend to have narrower life space. Urban design studies thus use neighbourhood as a unit of analysis.
In mainland China, the term is generally used for the urban administrative division found immediately below the district level, although an intermediate, subdistrict level exists in some cities. They are also called streets (administrative terminology may vary from city to city). Neighbourhoods encompass 2,000 to 10,000 families. Within neighbourhoods, families are grouped into smaller residential units or quarters of 100 to 600 families and supervised by a residents' committee; these are subdivided into residents' small groups of fifteen to forty families. In most urban areas of China, neighbourhood', community , residential community, residential unit, residential quarter' have the same meaning: 社区 or 小区 or 居民区 or 居住区, and is the direct sublevel of a subdistrict (街道办事处), which is the direct sublevel of a district (区), which is the direct sublevel of a city (市). (See Administrative divisions of the People's Republic of China)
The term has no general official or statistical purpose in the United Kingdom, but is often used by local boroughs for self-chosen sub-divisions of their area for the delivery of various services and functions, as for example in Kingston-upon-Thamesor is used as an informal term to refer to a small area within a town or city. The label is commonly used to refer to organisations which relate to such a very local structure, such as neighbourhood policing or Neighbourhood watch schemes. In addition, government statistics for local areas are often referred to as neighbourhood statistics, although the data themselves are broken down usually into districts and wards for local purposes. In many parts of the UK wards are roughly equivalent to neighbourhoods or a combination of them.
In Canada and the United States, neighbourhoods are often given official or semi-official status through neighbourhood associations, neighbourhood watches or block watches. These may regulate such matters as lawn care and fence height, and they may provide such services as block parties, neighbourhood parks and community security. In some other places the equivalent organisation is the parish, though a parish may have several neighbourhoods within it depending on the area.
In localities where neighbourhoods do not have an official status, questions can arise as to where one neighbourhood begins and another ends. Many cities use districts and wards as official divisions of the city, rather than traditional neighbourhood boundaries. ZIP code boundaries and post office names also sometimes reflect neighbourhood identities.
Gentrification is a process of changing the character of a neighborhood through the influx of more affluent residents and businesses. It is a common and controversial topic in politics and in urban planning. Gentrification often increases the economic value of a neighborhood, but the resulting demographic change is frequently a cause of controversy. Gentrification often shifts a neighborhood's racial/ethnic composition and average household income by developing new, more expensive housing and businesses in a gentrified architectural style and improving resources.
Zoning is a method of urban planning in which a municipality or other tier of government divides land into areas called zones, within which certain land uses are permitted or prohibited. Zones may be defined for a single use, or may combine several compatible uses.
Township refers to various kinds of settlements or administrative subdivisions in different countries.
Growth management, in the United States, is a set of techniques used by the government to ensure that as the population grows that there are services available to meet their demands. Growth management goes beyond traditional land use planning, zoning and subdivision controls in both the characteristics of development influenced and the scope of government powers used. These are not necessarily only government services. Other demands such as the protection of natural spaces, sufficient and affordable housing, delivery of utilities, preservation of buildings and places of historical value, and sufficient places for the conduct of business are also considered.
Due to China's large population and area, the administrative divisions of China have consisted of several levels since ancient times. The constitution of China provides for three de jure levels of government. Currently, however, there are five practical levels of local government: the provincial, prefecture, county, township, and village.
New Urbanism is an urban design movement which promotes environmentally friendly habits by creating walkable neighborhoods containing a wide range of housing and job types. It arose in the United States in the early 1980s, and has gradually influenced many aspects of real estate development, urban planning, and municipal land-use strategies. New urbanism attempts to address the ills associated with urban sprawl and post-Second World War suburban development.
In its modern form, a gated community is a form of residential community or housing estate containing strictly controlled entrances for pedestrians, bicycles, and automobiles, and often characterized by a closed perimeter of walls and fences. Similar walls and gates have separated quarters of some cities for centuries. Gated communities usually consist of small residential streets and include various shared amenities. For smaller communities, these amenities may include only a park or other common area. For larger communities, it may be possible for residents to stay within the community for most daily activities. Gated communities are a type of common interest development, but are distinct from intentional communities.
A dead end, also known as a cul-de-sac, no through road or no exit road, is a street with only one inlet or outlet.
Barrio is a Spanish word meaning "quarter" or "neighborhood." In the modern Spanish language, “barrio” is generally defined as each area of a city, usually differentiated by functional, social, architectural or morphological features. In Spain, several Latin American countries and the Philippines, the term is also used officially to denote a division of a municipality.
A county-level municipality, county-level city or county city, formerly known as prefecture-controlled city, is a county-level administrative division of the People's Republic of China. County-level cities have judicial but no legislative rights over their own local law and are usually governed by prefecture-level divisions, but a few are governed directly by province-level divisions.
A residential community is a community, usually a small town or city, that is composed mostly of residents, as opposed to commercial businesses and/or industrial facilities, all three of which are considered to be the three main types of occupants of the typical community.
A subdistrict is one of the smaller political divisions of China. It is a form of township-level division which is typically part of a larger urban area, as opposed to a discrete town surrounded by rural areas, or a rural township known as a xiang (乡).
A planned unit development (PUD) is a type of building development and also a regulatory process. As a building development, it is a designed grouping of both varied and compatible land uses, such as housing, recreation, commercial centers, and industrial parks, all within one contained development or subdivision.
A ward is a local authority area, typically used for electoral purposes. Wards are usually named after neighbourhoods, thoroughfares, parishes, landmarks, geographical features and in some cases historical figures connected to the area. It is common in the United States for wards to simply be numbered.
In urban planning, infill is the rededication of land in an urban environment, usually open-space, to new construction. Infill also applies within an urban polity to construction on any undeveloped land that is not on the urban margin. The slightly broader term "land recycling" is sometimes used instead. Infill has been promoted as an economical use of existing infrastructure and a remedy for urban sprawl. Its detractors view it as overloading urban services, including increased traffic congestion and pollution, and decreasing urban green-space.
Mixed-use development is a term used for two related concepts:
Microdistrict, or microraion is a residential complex—a primary structural element of the residential area construction in the Soviet Union and in some post-Soviet and former Socialist states. Residential districts in most of the cities and towns in Russia and the republics of the former Soviet Union were built in accordance with this concept.
There is considerable confusion in both Chinese and foreign sources over definitions of urban places and hence considerable variation in estimates of China's urban population.
The concept of the neighborhood unit, crystallised from the prevailing social and intellectual attitudes of the early 1900s by Clarence Perry, is an early diagrammatic planning model for residential development in metropolitan areas. It was designed by Perry to act as a framework for urban planners attempting to design functional, self-contained and desirable neighbourhoods in the early 20th century in industrialising cities. It continues to be utilised, as a means of ordering and organising new residential communities in a way which satisfies contemporary "social, administrative and service requirements for satisfactory urban existence".
A dong or neighborhood is a submunicipal level administrative unit of a city and of those cities which are not divided into wards throughout Korea. The unit is often translated as neighborhood and has been used in both administrative divisions of North Korea and South Korea.