The impact of socially mixed or segregated neighbourhoods on residents' quality of life is set to be studied by geographers.
The groundbreaking study is being undertaken by Liz Twigg at the University of Portsmouth and John Mohan at the University of Southampton.
People will be quizzed on whether they trust their neighbours, if antisocial behaviour is a problem in their area and why they might not venture out after dark.
Dr Twigg said: "What we are looking at is community cohesion - things like neighbourliness and people looking out for one another. The Home Office and local authorities have a real interest in what makes some communities tick better than others."
Their study will be the first to use information from the British Crime Survey to analyse the effect of social mixing on people's perceptions of their quality of life.
The£100,000 study is due to be completed mid 2009.