This paper suggests a GIS-based methodology for the investigation of the extent to which the inhabitants of a representative sample of city residents perceives itself as living in socially constituted neighborhood territories. We ask residents about the relevancy of the neighborhood as a social unit and to delineate their neighborhood boundaries. We then define these delineations as polygons in GIS, measuring the tendency of neighbors to define merging territorial bases for their neighborhoods. Three possible patterns are identified: (1) lack of perceived boundaries resulting from the irrelevancy of the neighborhood, (2) personal senses of localities that do not merge into communal territories by immediate neighbors—in this case we conclude that residents experience some sense of locality but they do not share any common sense of neighborhood—and (3) the tendency of residents' delineations to merge with those of their neighbors demonstrating, by thus, the social constitution of communal sense of neighborhood. We conclude that in most of the city the neighborhood is marginally relevant with only several areas, located in the outer ring of the city, presenting a coherent territorial sense of neighborhood.
- Sense of locality
- Sense of neighborhood
- Socially constituted sense of neighborhood
- Territorial base of neighborhood