Social sustainable neighborhood design: cohousing principles used as an example
The sustainable urban development discourse is becoming more dominant over time, accelerating an increasing demand for sustainable collaborative housing forms. Cohousing models emerged as a promising approach that encourages pro-environmental behavior, stimulates social capital, and provides economic benefits by incorporating Social Contact Design (SCD) principles. While the benefits of cohousing models are generally known, little attention has been paid to the potential of SCD principles for guiding large-scale urban planning issues. This master thesis seeks to determine to what extent these cohousing principles can be informative for the development of social sustainable neighborhoods. Using a comparative case study approach, two cohousing projects in Berlin and Nijmegen were examined to investigate the effect of the built environment on residential behavior. The qualitative research findings suggest that cohousing principles can offer insights into enhancing the social capital of residents and creating socially sustainable living areas. The study identifies the key factors that influence social interaction and highlights the importance of considering social sustainability in future neighborhood planning. While the study indicates that the applicability of cohousing principles for neighborhood planning cannot be generalized, it underscores the value of cohousing communities as a good practice for understanding the interplay between the built environment and social sustainable lifestyles. Ultimately, the research suggests incorporating cohousing principles in future urban planning can lead to more socially sustainable neighborhoods.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen