Patterns of social capital associated with transit oriented development

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

land use - transit oriented development, place - australasia


Transit oriented development, Transit adjacent development, Public transport accessibility level (PTAL), Social capital, Social sustainability, Brisbane


In policy circles, transit oriented development (TOD) is believed to enhance social capital, however empirical evidence of this relationship is lacking. This research compares levels of social capital between TOD vs. non-TOD areas in Brisbane, Australia. Using a Two Step cluster analysis technique, three types of neighbourhood groupings were identified based on net employment density, net residential density, land use diversity, intersection density, and public transport accessibility: TODs, transit adjacent development (TADs) and traditional suburbs. Two dimensions of social capital were measured (trust and reciprocity, connections with neighbours) based on factor analysis of eight items representing elements of social capital. Multivariate regression analyses were conducted to identify links between the distributions of the dimensions of social capital on areas defined as TODs, TADs, and traditional suburbs controlling for socio-demographics and environmental factors. Results show that individuals living in TODs had a significantly higher level of trust and reciprocity and connections with neighbours compared with residents of TADs. It appears that TODs may foster the development of social sustainability.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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