National Poll of Community Social and Physical Environment

Photo of aerial shot of a rooftop int he city where people are gathered and mingling

Crime prevention strategies mostly focus on surveillance and penalties for breaking the law. However, physical and social context in communities can facilitate or mitigate criminal activities. The purpose of this study is to investigate how the built environment and socioeconomic characteristics of communities are associated with mental health concerns and crime. The National Poll of Community Social and Physical Environment can be accessed via this website:

What is the Purpose of This Tool?

The purpose of this tool is to visualize the results of an ongoing study by the Cornell Institute for Healthy Futures on residents’ perceptions of their neighborhoods social and physical environment.

What Does This Tool Show?

This tool shows poll data collected via phone from a sample of 1,000 United State residents. The data cover interviewees’ perceptions of their communities on the following topics:

  • Access to attractive natural sights
  • People looking out for each other
  • Concerns regarding mental health
  • Availability of mental health services
  • Physical environment impact on mental health

What is the Source of Data for This Study?

Data for this study is collected between October and December 2017 by the Survey Research Institute at Cornell University, as a part of the Cornell National Social Survey.

The survey sample consisted of randomly selected households generated by random digit dial sampling of all telephone exchanges within the continental United States and included both listed and unlisted households.

Selection of individual respondents was done in two steps: a household was randomly selected and then a household member who was at least 18 years old is randomly selected using ‘the most recent birthday’ selection method.

Contact Information

For additional information about the study please contact the following members of the research team:

  • Dr. Mardelle Shepley (
  • Dr. Naomi Sachs (

Questions about this website should be sent to Dr. Naomi Sachs at

How to Use This Tool

You can access this tool via this link:

Depending on your browser settings and screen resolution, charts and text boxes might be too large and misaligned. If you notice misalignment, zoom out to 70%-90% by using the keyboard shortcut [Ctrl] + [-] in Windows or [Cmd] + [-] on a Mac.