Document type: DU ETD
Collection: Geology Theses  
Title Spatial Patterns and Neighborhood Awareness: A Study in Geographic Perception
Author(s) Cohen, Steven H.
School/Department Department of Geography
Institution University of Denver
Degree Type Doctoral
Degree Name Ph.D.
Type of Resource text
Degree Date June 1973
Digital Origin reformatted digital
Rights Statement All Rights Reserved
Reason for Restrictions No restrictions
Type of Restriction No restrictions
Keyword(s) Geography
Genre Dissertations, Academic
Language English
Abstract Cities are presently considered as huge, confusing and impersonal regions by the majority of urban residents in the United States. However, in our society, people have developed a means of spatial ordering centered about themselves that permits orientation and adjustment to urban living. The average person, in discussing his daily movements, generally refers to the urban area in terms of decreasing certainty and increasing suspicion as he mentally moves outward from his home. Of primary importance to geographers has been the research in perception of the urban area by residents and their resultant “mental” images. This study explored a means of measuring and examining the patterns of urban perception. The secondary objective of this investigation was the exploration of utilizing perception measurements in the city-planning process. Four neighborhoods in Denver, Colorado were chosen for use in the study. Each area encompassed differing formal planning and political units and were given special reference titles. They were: 1) Westside-a predominantly Chicano area located near the Central Business District, 2) Bear valley – an entirely White area in southwest Denver, 3) SE Denver – an almost entirely White area in the south-eastern part of the City and 4) Park Hill- an integrated Black-Anglo area in northeast Denver. Residents in the four neighborhoods were randomly selected and interviewed at home. The interviews conducted housing preference, landmark identification, and mobility. During the interviews respondents were requested to rate eighteen examples of housing by comfort. The results were then sorted according to four parameters: 1) Size, 2) Greenery, 3) Density and 4) Styel. Respondents were also requested to identify four landmarks unique to their neighborhood and twelve sites common to all four areas. Last, each person interviewed was requested to complete a trip matrix indication the frequency with which various regional shopping and recreation sites are visited. The analyses of survey data indicated that although all parameters were used to some degree by each neighborhood in stratifying housing by comfort, the greatest stratification between neighborhoods occurred in the use of Size. According to the sample data, there was a direct relationship between the affluence of a neighborhood and the number of residents who stratified housing preference by Size. The study also found that residents used different landmark symbols in site identification. The symbol choice became more regional in scope with increasing distance from the respondent’s home to the site. Also, in moving about their homes, the residents used one localized site for convenience shopping and about two sites, in different directions from the home, outside the immediate neighborhood for specialized shopping.
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Created: Thu, 15 Jul 2010, 16:27:42 UTC by Jacob Ratliff . Detailed History