Research title: Theorizing social interaction and its implication on designing residential developments in UK.
Start date: October 2012
Since 2003, when the British Government first started to publish its ‘Sustainable Communities Plan series’, the relationship of the design of built environment with creating sustainable communities has been the focus of the UK government. Given the increasing diversity in demography of urban neighbourhoods across the UK, social interaction within neighbours is a critical factor in creating a sense of community and preventing social problems, such as, segregation, crime, social harmony and apathy. Despite the growing interest of designers in addressing social sustainability issues in their design, a brief review of the recently published documents and guidelines suggests that only a few of those documents have provided comprehensive and practical advices for the designers engaged in urban housing developments.
This research aims to first establish if and how the design of urban residential developments can facilitate social interaction between residents in the UK and secondly establish if and how designers of urban housing developments can use the findings of this research to assess the impact of their design decisions on social interaction between residents.