A case study of place attachment in rural and urban senior cohousing communities

Gabriela Fonseca Pereira, Melissa Lies, Mihyun Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Place attachment has implications for older adults’ well-being and psychological benefits such as belonging, enjoyment, connection, and privacy. The purpose of this study was to examine the presence of older adults’ place attachment in comparison to urban and rural senior cohousing communities, highlighting similar and contrasting design features that assist place attachment. Both communities in this study are located in the Midwest of the United States. A total of 24 older adults participated in this study: 10 participants from the rural community and 14 from the urban community. Participants attended individual interviews where researchers asked questions related to place attachment and design features that affect their experiences in the senior cohousing community. Results show that when comparing the rural and urban communities, the design features that were more prevalent in the rural community focused more on community and guest aspects (Friend Bonding) and natural elements within the community (Nature Bonding). The urban location, however, had design features that were associated with functionality (Place Dependence), the relationship between residents (Friend Bonding), and the natural elements surrounding the community (Nature Bonding). This analysis could be used as evidence-based design for the development of future senior cohousing communities and other older adult facilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-22
Number of pages20
JournalHousing and Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies


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