Ecology, Environment and Conservation Paper

Vol 26, Aug Suppl. Issue, 2020; Page No.(302-315)

EXPLAINING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE CONCEPTS OF SMART CITY AND CITIZENS’ MENTAL HEALTH

Atiyeh Asgari, Mostafa Behzadfar and Asadollah Naghdi

Abstract

Urban development has already led to a change in the physical environment of cities and, subsequently, to the mental health of citizens living in these environments. In such a situation, the correction of the negative effects of unplanned and unintelligent urban growth is an inevitable necessity, but few solutions have been proposed to counteract the negative effects of this phenomenon. In this regard, strategies such as smart growth, intelligent management, green belts and land use planning are considered as solutions to the problem of urban dispersal and unhealthy urban environments. This is while the mental health of citizens is a vital issue that should be considered as essential to any development program. The main purpose of this study is to determine the nature of the relationship between urban smart growth and mental health of citizens living in such cities. Meanwhile, the role of social capital formation as a moderator is discussed. The methodology of this research is quantitative and this study was selected as a sample for conducting a Gisha neighborhood study in the Region 2 of Tehran Municipality. In order to use structural equation modeling (SEM), 200 questionnaires distributed among 200 residents of this neighborhood. Through a pilot study, 13 questions were finally included in the final questionnaire. Of these, 5 questions were used to measure the citizen’s attitude to the smart city, 5 questions to measure social capital and 3 questions to measure mental health (which were extracted from the GHQ questionnaire). The first hypothesis of the study, namely, the existence of a strong and direct relationship between the attitude of citizens towards the smart city and mental health, was confirmed. It was also found that social capital in the Gisha neighborhood as a moderating variable in the process of influencing residents’ attitudes towards the intelligence of their living environment and their mental health was not very effective, but the smart city is effective on the formation of these social capital among influential inhabitants. In the Gisha neighborhood, it is suggested that the development of public spaces, social protection and public health services and housing quality indicators be promoted in order to make urban intelligence as secure as possible.

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