The Role of User Participation on Social Sustainability: A Case Study on Four Residential Areas
Abstract:The rapid growth of the human population and the
environmental degradation associated with increased consumption of
resources raises concerns on sustainability. Social sustainability
constitutes one of the three dimensions of sustainability together with
environmental and economic dimensions. Even though there is not an
agreement on what social sustainability consists of, it is a well known
fact that it necessitates user participation. The fore, this study aims to
observe and analyze the role of user participation on social
sustainability. In this paper, the links between user participation and indicators of
social sustainability have been searched. In order to achieve this, first
of all a literature review on social sustainability has been done;
accordingly, the information obtained from researches has been used
in the evaluation of the projects conducted in the developing
countries considering user participation. These examples are taken as
role models with pros and cons for the development of the checklist
for the evaluation of the case studies. Furthermore, a case study over
the post earthquake residential settlements in Turkey have been
conducted. The case study projects are selected considering different building
scales (differing number of residential units), scale of the problem
(post-earthquake settlements, rehabilitation of shanty dwellings) and
the variety of users (differing socio-economic dimensions). Decisionmaking,
design, building and usage processes of the selected projects
and actors of these processes have been investigated in the context of
social sustainability. The cases include: New Gourna Village by
Hassan Fathy, Quinta Monroy dwelling units conducted in Chile by
Alejandro Aravena and Beyköy and Beriköy projects in Turkey
aiming to solve the problem of housing which have appeared after the
earthquake happened in 1999 have been investigated. Results of the
study possible links between social sustainability indicators and user
participation and links between user participation and the
peculiarities of place. Results are compared and discussed in order to find possible
solutions to form social sustainability through user participation.
Results show that social sustainability issues depend on communities'
characteristics, socio-economic conditions and user profile but user
participation has positive effects on some social sustainability
indicators like user satisfaction, a sense of belonging and social
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