This research examines the evolution in design features of common spaces within affordable multi-unit rental housing in the City of Vancouver. It investigates the relations between physical design and attention to sociability. The empirical basis of this project is 26 residential buildings owned and operated by Brightside Community Homes Foundation, 22 of which are inhabited and 4 of which are under redevelopment. Data were collected via sources that included building plans, field observations, scholarly literature, and rezoning applications for projects currently under development. Findings show major changes in design thinking: indoor amenity spaces and courtyards include amenities for multiple uses/activities and there are amenities allocated to the general public. However, a stronger rationale linking proposed designs and positive impacts on sociability would benefit future research on design for sociability. Moreover, the older buildings, although not following leading-edge models, demonstrate creative utilization of common space and potentials for improvements.
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Thesis advisor: Holden, Meg
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