Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-7635

Article | Open Access

The Social Dimension of Sustainable Neighborhood Design: Comparing Two Neighborhoods in Freiburg, Germany

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Abstract:  The study presented in this article adds to the body of research on the socio-cultural dimension of sustainable cit-ies by looking at the efforts of the City of Freiburg, Germany to create neighborhoods that acknowledge the im-portance of the social dimension of sustainable development. The research in this article is centered on evaluating the social responses of living in Freiburg’s two recognized sustainable neighborhoods Rieselfeld and Vauban. The study focuses on the motivational factors that prompted todays residents of the two neighborhoods to move there in the first place, their level of satisfaction living there now, and their perceived social interactions and level of community engagement. Result show that satisfaction with living in a place and reinforcing its assets through so-cial resiliency or livability can result in long-term community staying power. In general, there were few differences in preferences ratings of physical and social assets between the two communities. The levels of importance of so-cial factors contributing to place satisfaction and staying power were not significantly different in both neighbor-hoods. Having a “cluster” of social factors present that were important to residents contributed significantly to place satisfaction. In fact, survey results showed that it was these social factors that were seen as more important to place satisfaction than the physical attributes of sustainable developments.

Keywords:  Freiburg; social dimensions; social equity; survey research; sustainable community



© Bjoern Hagen, Cara Nassar, David Pijawka. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.