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Residents’ satisfaction with integration of the natural environment in public housing design

Chuba Onyechi Odum (Department of Architecture, University of Nigeria, Enugu, Nigeria)

International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis

ISSN: 1753-8270

Article publication date: 2 March 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a study assessing residents’ satisfaction with the integration of natural environment in public housing designs in Enugu urban, Nigeria.

Design/methodology/approach

The study followed qualitative and quantitative strategies. Personal observations and one-on-one interviews were conducted where necessary. A survey of 898 households residing in two main prevalent residential building typologies, systematically selected based on quota of their existence in seven public housing estates, was conducted, with a questionnaire as the key data collection instrument. A five-point Likert scale was used in measuring residents’ level of satisfaction of three key housing environment sub-components. Data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics.

Findings

Residents expressed dissatisfaction with overall housing estate environment in terms of naturalness in the estate landscaping and availability of green areas, and also with immediate dwelling unit environments in terms open spaces and naturalness in external finishes. Many of the residents, however, claimed to be indifferent about the extent of response of layout designs to natural factors, and street layout concepts to climatic influences. This reveals a high level of apathy of residents to their estates designs.

Research limitations/implications

Collecting relevant data from the government agency that are the providers of the public housing studied was a herculean task, as there was no existing organized data bank. Consequently, the researcher depended more on extensive field work. In addition to the above, getting the questionnaire respondents to agree to participate in the study was another major challenge, as they were not used to participating in such studies before the current study.

Social implications

Findings from the study imply that residents’ are adaptable to whatever housing environment they are provided with; therefore, therapeutic housing environment, if provided, would enhance healthy living for public housing residents in Nigeria.

Originality/value

This work is a pioneering effort at evaluating public housing environment in the study area in relation to residents’ perception.

Keywords

Citation

Odum, C.O. (2015), "Residents’ satisfaction with integration of the natural environment in public housing design", International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis, Vol. 8 No. 1, pp. 73-96. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJHMA-03-2014-0005

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited