The social dimension of sustainable neighborhood design: Comparing two neighborhoods in Freiburg, Germany

Bjoern Hagen, Cara Nassar, David Pijawka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The study presented in this article adds to the body of research on the socio-cultural dimension of sustainable cities by looking at the efforts of the City of Freiburg, Germany to create neighborhoods that acknowledge the importance 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. Results show that satisfaction with living in a place and reinforcing its assets through social resiliency or livability can result in longterm community staying power. In general, there were few differences in preference ratings of physical and social assets between the two communities. The levels of importance of social factors contributing to place satisfaction and staying power were not significantly different in both neighborhoods. 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-80
Number of pages17
JournalUrban Planning
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2017


  • Freiburg
  • Social dimensions
  • Social equity
  • Survey research
  • Sustainable community

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urban Studies


Dive into the research topics of 'The social dimension of sustainable neighborhood design: Comparing two neighborhoods in Freiburg, Germany'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this