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Towards a grounded theory of urban attached housing design for families : balancing lifestyle perceptions with sanctuary needs Pander, Sean

Abstract

As Canada becomes an increasingly urban nation, a growing number of people have begun to express concern over the social and environmental costs of suburban development. Despite these concerns, detached suburban housing remains the preferred form for most families. This research uses a qualitative approach to develop an improved understanding of the housing needs of second generation+ Canadian families with pre-school aged children. A home provides sanctuary, lifestyle opportunities, and is an important financial investment for young families today. This understanding of the needs behind family housing preferences made it possible to propose an emergent grounded theory of attached housing design. While it is essential to satisfy a family's sanctuary needs, it the rich public realm of a good urban environment that compensates for the loss of private space and would attract more young Canadian families to urban living. The three core findings of this research are: • families with an urban lifestyle vision are the most likely to perceive urban attached housing as an appealing alternative; • family housing should be concentrated on quiet streets close to vibrant community and retail amenities to enable this lifestyle; • satisfying a family's need for sanctuary through the provision of sufficient and appropriately laid-out interior space is key to increasing the appeal of attached housing alternatives.

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