Importance of social sustainability at the mass housing projects
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Migration from rural to urban area has gained acceleration with education and business opportunity in middle of 20th century. Today half of the world population lives in cities and this rapid migration has caused unplanned urbanization and poor quality building stock. Urban transformation projects are kind of solution for illegal housing, buildings on the scrap heap and infrastructure problems of the cities. Mass housing projects are using for urban transformation of adjacent properties and it offers a remedy for social facilities, integrative infrastructure, and better space occupancy. On the other hand, the social relations on the area have totally changed with physical change of the area and new living styles have suddenly popped-up on these quarters. Neighborhood relations, safety needs and open public space usage have totally changed compared to old settlement areas. The people who live in the mass housings in the cities are not monotype and these places are junction points for many different communities with different income levels, life style and cultures. Although they have diversities, their social relationships like all the people are critical to wellbeing. Despite the large number of people living in the same place, a lack of social connection leads to loneliness and isolation on these areas. Social sustainability shows the satisfaction of human social needs and maximizes community values, knowledge, history, traditions, and social networks for next generations. The mass housing projects can be successful when they also provide social satisfaction and sustainability for habitants but on the design phase of these projects, the social sustainability doesn‘t take any notice. Social places, mobility, and proximity are important for connecting people with each other and developing social relationships. Within the scope of this research, social sustainability of two different scale social mass housing projects are evaluated in accordance with the indicators generated by The Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development (OISD). A sense of community identity and belonging; tolerance, respect and engagement with people from different cultures, background and beliefs; friendly, co-operative and helpful behavior in neighborhoods; opportunities for cultural, leisure, community, sport and other activities; low levels of crime and anti-social behavior with visible, effective and community-friendly policing; and opportunities for all people to be socially included and have similar life opportunities are defined as the basic social needs for habitants. Amenities and social infrastructure, social and cultural life networks, community space to grow and participation of decision making has used as indicators for social sustainability of these two settlements. Consequently, social sustainability is extremely important as environmental and economic sustainability for the future of the cities and it should be considered in the urban transformation projects.
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