The Sustainable Housing Architecture Research Group is part of an ongoing project to look at the attractiveness of urban living from a resident perspective in an urban context. Project focus group interviews have been successfully completed and analysis is currently being promoted. The research project is funded by the Turku City Research Program and the YH Foundation of Southwest Finland, which is the result of interdisciplinary collaboration between the University of Tampere's School of Architecture and Management and the University of Turku's sociology researchers.
Finnish version here
The current construction trend favours small apartments in and around city centers. At the same time, declining housing sizes and increased efficiency targets for housing construction have contributed to the qualitative characteristics of living environments, buildings and facilities. One may rightly ask whether the planning currently meets the wishes of different groups of residents? The multidisciplinary joint project of the universities of Tampere and Turku addresses this issue by examining the attractiveness of urban living from the perspective of the resident.
Although much research has been done on housing, there has been surprisingly little interest in residents ’ideas. It has also been seen as a problem that, although housing preference research has been conducted extensively, its results often remain too rough and general, making it difficult to utilize in planning. The joint project of the universities of Tampere and Turku developed renewed ways of producing information on resident perspectives. The study targeted five population groups. For each group, the process of participating in the study was three-step. First, the groups responded to a preliminary survey that examined, in addition to background information, the twists and turns of housing history and the reasons for the current housing choice. This was followed by two focus group discussions for the groups, which were thematically divided into a discussion on living environments and a discussion on housing and space.
In the focus group discussions, residents were more free to perceive the values of housing through photographs and videos of the target areas selected for the study. The discussions on residential construction and space utilized the floor plan material of the stimulus dwellings produced specifically for the needs of this project, with 3D walkthroughs of these dwellings.
In this way, information was obtained that linked residents ’appreciations to the spatial characteristics of the habitat in a way that benefited the design. The method also allowed for a more detailed discussion of why some spatial features becomes significant in housing. The research project collected rich data, the analysis of which is currently progressing.
Dissertation researcher Sini Saarimaa, email@example.com, 0400811923
Why Turku? The attractiveness of urban living from a resident perspective; www.utu.fi/miksiturku