The worldwide upsurge of common interest housing developments (CIDs) has stirred up debates regarding community development and social cohesion. Critics have argued that CIDs lack social cohesion because people regulate the community via rules and contracts rather than through social relationships and mutual contact. However, some research points at high levels of socialization and friendship in CIDs, facilitated by the homogeneity of the community in terms of socio-economic class and cultural background. This paper takes the uncertainty regarding social cohesion in CIDs as its starting point. On the basis of empirical research in three cases, this paper shows that social cohesion in CIDs varies, and that themes such as golfing or ecological sustainability play an important role in the development of social cohesion. The paper shows how a clear theme facilitates the development of shared symbols and rituals, and provides logical points of social encounter and interaction.

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Housing, Theory and Society
Department of Public Administration

Eshuis, J., van Dam, R., van Twist, M., & Anquetil, V. (2013). Understanding Social Cohesion Differences in Common Interest Housing Developments. Housing, Theory and Society. doi:10.1080/14036096.2013.867278