Happier together

Exploring programming, design and social wellbeing in multi-unit housing. Providing the tools to build and sustain strong social connections among neighbours.

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Programming Initiative

Partner: Concert Properties

The Social Animator initiative is a social engagement program that involves Concert Properties’ multi-unit buildings residents in the design and programming of social activities. Concert has recruited a Social Animator to collaborate with residents to produce events that boost social connections. The Social Animator will empower residents to practice open communication, nurture common values and strengthen relationships. Happy Cities will assess the impact of the Social Animator initiative on residents’ sociability, sense of belonging, social trust, perceived health and level of engagement.

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Design Initiative

Partner: Tomo Spaces

Tomo House is a 12 unit cohousing project located on Vancouver’s Main Street. Tomo Spaces, MA+HG Architects, a group of expert collaborators, and future residents from Our Urban Village Cohousing have all contributed to the project’s design. Cohousing describes an intentional community in which each family occupies a private unit but benefit from enhanced common spaces. Happy Cities will assess the impact of the design on residents’ sociability, sense of belonging, social trust, perceived health and level of engagement. The study takes place before and after occupancy.

2019
Step 1: Research and Study Design
  • Identifying guiding frameworks
  • Identifying variables

Step 1: Research and Study Design

Step 1: Research and Study Design
  • Identifying guiding frameworks
  • Identifying variables

Step 1: Research and Study Design

2020
Step 2: Bonus – COVID-19: Together, Apart Toolkit
  • Identifying ideas for staying connected in times of physical distancing

Step 2: Bonus – COVID-19: Together, Apart Toolkit

Step 3: Baseline Survey
  • Developing and analyzing baseline survey
  • Analyzing data

Step 3: Baseline Survey

Step 4: Space Assessment
  • Identifying social programming opportunities based on baseline survey results and space assessment

Step 4: Space Assessment

Step 5: Programming Opportunities
  • Identifying social programming opportunities based on baseline survey results and space assessment

Step 5: Programming Opportunities

Step 2: Space Assessment
  • Identifying opportunities for social interaction

Step 2: Space Assessment

2021
Step 6: Social Patterns Assessment
  • Attending events organized by community connectors
  • Surveying, interviewing and observing residents who attend events
  • Analyzing data

Step 6: Social Patterns Assessment

Step 3: Baseline Study
  • Developing and applying baseline survey
  • Analyzing data

Step 3: Baseline Study

Step 7: Post-Programming Survey
  • Developing and analyzing post-programming survey
  • Analyzing data

Step 7: Post-Programming Survey

Step 4: Experience Interviews
  • Identifying tools to measure occupancy levels

2022
Step 8: Key Learnings
  • Analyzing data
  • Identifying wellbeing actions
  • Sharing learnings

Step 8: Key Learnings

Step 5: First Post Occupancy Study
  • Developing the interview outline
  • Conducting interviews

2022
Step 6: Second Post-occupancy Study
  • Developing post-occupancy survey
  • Applying survey
  • Analyzing data

Step 7: Key Learnings
  • Analyzing data
  • Identifying wellbeing actions
  • Sharing learnings

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