Step 2 – Space assessment

Fall 2020 → Winter 2021

Status: Complete

Axonometric diagram showing the shared spaces at Tomo House

During the space assessment, we looked at the proposed design for Tomo house to understand the intentional design moves to boost resident wellbeing. Using 46 actions from the Happy Homes toolkit, we identified areas of opportunity in the tables below.

From our analysis, we saw that Tomo house includes many elements of the Happy Homes toolkit already. We developed five main hypotheses about what would be most important for social connectedness among neighbours: 

  1. When people self-organize to work on causes bigger than themselves, they feel happier.
  2. Delineating a gradient of social spaces gives people a sense of control and creates feelings of safety.
  3. Informal, unscheduled encounters nurture trust and belonging, often lead to deeper interactions.
  4. People’s ability to experience nature is strongly linked to positive household relationships and social trust.
  5. Residents who can live in the same place longer, either as owners or renters, build stronger bonds of trust.

We looked at several different ways to classify the spaces at Tomo house. We looked at whether spaces were private, semi-private, semi-public, or public. We also looked at which spaces might encourage different types of social interactions, considering two types of social encounters between neighbours: casual and meaningful. Our goal is to see where the building’s design impacts the quantity and quality of these interactions. Importantly, we want to identify which spaces are most important to foster these interactions. 

As we conduct the baseline survey and post-occupancy studies, we will understand when, where, and how the built environment enables social connectedness between the residents of Tomo House. 


Step 4: Experience Interviews

Step 5: First Post Occupancy Study

Step 6: Second Post-occupancy Study

Step 7: Key Learnings

Ready to start a conversation?

Let's build happier cities together.

Sign up for our newsletter

Receive the latest research, tools and stories from Happy Cities in your inbox.

© Happy Cities 2023

Certified B Corp

312 Main Street

Second Floor

Vancouver, BC

V6A 2T2, Canada

Follow us:
Except where otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.