Exploring the Conditions of Urban Community Flourishing: A Case Study of Andersonville, Chicago

Jana Rokitta, Fordham University


Over the past century of urbanization, sociologists have been concerned about a decline in community in urban settings. Despite concerns of social isolation and anonymity in urban centers, some urban neighborhoods have been successful in creating a close-knit community. This research explored the conditions under which community can establish in an urban neighborhood. Interviews, observation, and archival research were used to investigate the role of urban design, community organizations, and residents’ demographics and characteristics. Using Andersonville, Chicago as a case study, the research explored a neighborhood that is known for its close-knit community and urban village feeling. Findings indicate that physical features, in particular the walkability and accessibility of a neighborhood, allow for repeated interactions between residents and can be essential for community formation. Additionally, community organizations, local institutions, and events can provide spaces for residents to be involved and connect with neighbors. However, Andersonville’s advantageous location and urban history highly impacted the development of its community. Therefore, the findings do not generally indicate the conditions that strengthen community but rather show how a specific neighborhood maximized its historical advantages. Further research is necessary to explore how the development of a neighborhood-level sense of community is tied to systemic urban inequalities.

Subject Area

Sociology|Urban planning

Recommended Citation

Rokitta, Jana, "Exploring the Conditions of Urban Community Flourishing: A Case Study of Andersonville, Chicago" (2023). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI30813273.