In The Neighborhood

How the built environment influences our mental health

How Your Commute Can Damage Your Relationships

The negative health impacts of long commutes are mounting, with research now linking commute time to satisfaction with social contacts. Read More

another negative

another negative aspect of working and residing in cites far away from each other is the loss of a clear sense of neighborhood, of familiarity with one's surroundings and how to build social ties with others nearby, through the repetition of many small interactions across several planes (work, home, municipal, weather, associations, pets, children, etc.)and of how to know and put to use information of area resources. It becomes an impoverished existence.

too true

Thanks for your comment - I agree that our ties to the neighborhood are often diminished when we spend long hours commuting and working in other neighborhoods. The challenge is in finding a rewarding job that is in/near a neighborhood that people are happy (or can afford) to live in. Never easy, but certainly something to work towards.

All the best,


Lack of Downtime

Your article on the social costs of commuting was very revealing to me. I drive two hours a day, 50 miles each direction but had not previously considered its social impact since I am introverted by nature. The negative psychological consequence, as I had seen it, was the elimination of downtime in my life. My schedule has been so regimented for nearly seven years of working full time, mothering, managing a home, trying to maintain a marriage relationship and commuting that there is scarce time for self-reflection. It is difficult to think rationally and plan carefully in survival mode. I know this is unsustainable and have been considering employment closer to home. At any rate, thank you for your insights!

Great comment

Thanks for your comment Elizabeth. I think many people will be able to relate to your feeling of being in survival mode. Our pace of life often makes it difficult to step back and reassess the life we have crafted. Best of luck in finding the right mix of work/life for you.


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Jacinta Francis, Ph.D., is a Research Associate with the Centre for the Built Environment and Health at The University of Western Australia.


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