Step 1: Research and Study Design

Design Initiative

In Step 1, along with our industry partner, we envisioned how the study could work. Together, we explored different methods that could be used to measure residents’ wellbeing throughout time. We selected the following methods: 

  • Surveys
  • Space assessments
  • Experience interviews
  • Possibly technology-driven data collecting methods

With these four methods we will be able to collect qualitative and quantitative data to determine residents’ social wellbeing. While these are the initial methods that we will use, we understand that all studies can evolve, so we are keeping a flexible approach and hoping there are other methods we can incorporate.

We also identified the guiding frameworks that were crucial to determine the social wellbeing variables we wanted to measure. We used two main frameworks: 

  • Happy Homes framework: consists of 10 principles that were determined through interdisciplinary research finding the intersections between multi-unit housing design and social wellbeing. Explore the interactive toolkit here. 
  • Tomo Space’s Design Guidelines: Tomo house was designed with a set of guiding principles and concrete strategies in mind. This framework addresses environmental as well as social sustainability and housing affordability.

Based on the guiding frameworks, we identified the variables that we wanted to measure. In this initiative’s case the variables include: 

  • Sense of belonging
  • Inclusion
  • Social connectedness
  • Resilience
  • Engagement level
  • Social trust
  • Tenure
  • Health
  • Exposure
  • Social group size
  • Comfort

To prepare for the next phase, we began looking at precedent studies (for post-occupancy studies of co-housing projects) and gathering questions for the baseline survey with residents from National and other surveys with larger sample sizes. Some of the reviewed surveys include: 

  • Vital Signs 2019 Vancouver Foundation survey
  • Toronto Social Capital Study (2017)
  • Catalyst survey (Hey Neighbour Collective, 2018-2019)
  • Hey Neighbour Pilot (2018)
  • General Social Survey (Statistics Canada, 2013)
  • My Health My Community (2019, to be released)
  • Canadian Community Health Survey (Statistics Canada, 2016)
  • National Household Survey (Statistics Canada, 2016)
  • Post-Occupancy Evaluation Survey of Recent Multi-family Developments (City of North Vancouver, 2008)

Step 4: Experience Interviews

Step 5: First Post Occupancy Study

Step 6: Second Post-occupancy Study

Step 7: Key Learnings

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