AbstractAs urbanization has matured in many areas, interest in qualitative values such as residents’ residential satisfaction, social capital, and subjective well-being (SWB) has increased. However, few studies have investigated the influence of different urban environments, including housing types, on residential satisfaction, social capital, and SWB. The present study compares residential satisfaction, social capital, and SWB levels of two different housing types: high-rise apartments and low-rise dwellings. To this end, the authors analyze the large-scale survey data collected from 20,000 residents in Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea, using structural equation modeling. The analysis found that the satisfaction level of apartment residents tends to be higher, but their social capital level tends to be lower than their counterparts in low-rise dwellings. Because residential satisfaction and social capital dimensions are positively associated with the dimensions of SWB, the model identified apartments’ positive indirect effects via residential satisfaction and negative indirect effects via social capital on subjective well-being. The results imply countervailing effects of apartment developments on residents’ SWB: although offering more satisfactory residential environments, high-rise apartments may discourage social capital formation. These results call for urban planning and policy approaches that encourage social ties and interactions, thereby eventually improving residents’ SWB.

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