Authors: William Wee-Lim Hew, Gerald Guan-Gan Goh, Angel Boon-Yee Low, and Siok-Hwa Lau

Research Article

Year: 2020, Volume 20 Number 3

Page: 89-101


Building sustainable communities is fast becoming a common principle in urban development, and a sustainable community is one that has a prevailing social order and strong cohesion among its members. Today, rising crime is destabilizing traditional neighborhoods by creating fear, which leads to residential turnover. This study aims to assess whether strengthening social cohesion by communities of practice and knowledge-sharing behavior may prevent residents from harboring intentions to leave. A framework based on environmental psychology principles has been developed; communities of practice and knowledge-sharing behavior are believed to stimulate residential satisfaction, which acts as a counteraction to flight intention. A survey was conducted among residents in crime-ridden neighborhoods in the southern region in Malaysia to assess whether the factors have contributed to their flight intention. Three hundred nine responses were obtained and analyzed using partial least squares structural modeling. Findings revealed that communities of practice reduce flight intention indirectly through the moderation of residential satisfaction, whereas low knowledge-sharing behavior have reduced flight intention. Findings of the former are expected, but the latter is surprising, suggesting residents’ resilience and experience in handling crime, hence not requiring any sharing of safety practices. The findings identify suitable methods to improve social interactions to prevent residential turnover and keep the neighborhoods relevant and safe for future inhabitants.

Keywords: residential turnover, urban flight, flight intention, communities of practice, knowledge-sharing behavior, residential satisfaction.