Does Permeability Promote Social Cohesion


  • Aldrin Abdullah School of Housing, Building & Planning, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia
  • Massoomeh Hedayati Marzbali Department of Architecture, Ayatollah Amoli Branch, Islamic Azad University, Amol, Iran
  • Mohammad Javad Maghsoodi Tilaki School of Humanities, University Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia
  • Azizi Bahauddin School of Housing, Building & Planning, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia



Permeability, social cohesion, road type, residential neighbourhood


Understanding environmental conditions of neighbourhoods can play a critical role in maintaining social interactions among residents. This research is carried out to assess the effect of street permeability on the degree of social cohesion among residents in a residential neighbourhood in Penang, Malaysia. A total of 250 households participated in the study. The findings indicate that permeability can account for a significant proportion of the variance in residents’ social cohesion. Residents living in less permeable streets are more likely to have a high social cohesion with their neighbours. The results further support the defensible space concept which advocates closed streets.

Keywords: Permeability; social cohesion; road type; residential neighbourhood

eISSN 2398-4295 © 2018. The Authors. Published for AMER ABRA cE-Bs by e-International Publishing House, Ltd., UK. This is an open-access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license ( Peer–review under responsibility of AMER (Association of Malaysian Environment-Behaviour Researchers), ABRA (Association of Behavioural Researchers on Asians) and cE-Bs (Centre for Environment-Behaviour Studies), Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia.




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How to Cite

Abdullah, A., Marzbali, M. H., Tilaki, M. J. M., & Bahauddin, A. (2018). Does Permeability Promote Social Cohesion. Asian Journal of Behavioural Studies, 3(10), 87–94.