TROPICAL GEOGRAPHY ›› 2018, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (3): 440-450.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003028

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Review of the Research in Foreign Countries in the Past 15 Years about Neighborhood Effects on Residents’ Health: A Visualized Analysis Based on CiteSpace Software

YUAN Yuan,LIN Jing and XIE Lei   

  1. (School of Geography and Planning,Sun Yat-sen University//Guangdong Key Laboratory for Urbanization and Geo-simulation,Guangzhou 510275,China)
  • Online:2018-05-05 Published:2018-05-05

Abstract: With the rapid social and economic transition and marketization of housing estates in China, social segregation and residential differentiation has become increasingly apparent. Although neighborhood environment plays a significant role on the health of residents, there is a lack of research about how neighborhood environment affects Residents’ Health in China. A total 613 papers in web of science of ‘Neighborhood Effects and Health’ were visually analyzed by CiteSpace. This paper reveals important environment factors that influence Residents’ Health and provides a theoretical foundation for health urban planning. The results and conclusions are as follows. Firstly, Neighborhood Effects on Residents’ Health has drawn increasingly extensive attention in nearly 15 years and has concentrated in some research topics, including built environment and social environment. However, due to the differences of urban development background, political and economic system, the research conclusions from the United States and from Europe have some differences. Those from the United States generally agree with the role of neighborhood effect, but those from Europe are more unclear. Secondly, based on the built environment and social environment, the mechanisms of neighborhood effects are elaborated from four perspectives: neighborhood walk ability, public service facilities, neighborhood socio-cultural features and reputation. All those perspectives have a direct or indirect impact on physical health and mental health by influencing residents’ travel mode, physical activity, healthy diet, attitude towards life, mental status, accumulation of stress and limited accessibility to resources. Furthermore, due to the difference of individual socioeconomic status, the built environment has a different impact on different groups. Thirdly, the multi-level analysis using cross-sectional data and the multivariate model are the main research methods, but longitudinal research is relatively lacking. As Geographic Information System (GIS) and smart mobile phones could bring new data collection and analysis methods, the usage of GIS and smart mobile phones would help the research making a major breakthrough. Lastly, based on the analysis above, this paper puts forward three suggestions to promote the research progress in China, namely, combining with the characteristics of China’s neighborhood to choose environment factors, attaching importance to the role of qualitative research methods on revealing the mechanism of neighborhood effect, and increasing longitudinal research to clarify the relationship between individual socioeconomic characteristics and neighborhood environment.

Key words: neighborhood effects, built environment, social environment, residents’ health, Visualized Analysis