Love thy neighbor: social sustainability assessment in built environments : the case of the Greenhouse project in Augustenborg ecocity, Malmö, Sweden
Sammanfattning: Although one of the three pillars of the sustainability triad beside the economic and environmental, Social Sustainability (SS) is the least studied and researched. Since its definition, measurement and operation are subject to different interpretations, SS tends to be undertheorized and sometimes overlooked. This explorative case study investigates the SS aspects of the small community of the Greenhouse Project, situated in Malmö’s Augustenborg Ecocity. The latter is viewed as a sustainable landmark in terms of environment, economy, and social inclusion within a sustainable regenerated urban development. This research focuses on the non- physical intangible social aspects of sustainability in the built environment of the Greenhouse community, apart from its ecologically friendly high-tech features. The study aims to firstly assess the SS aspects in the Greenhouse project and secondly come up with SS best practices within the Greenhouse project. To better understand the SS aspects in the microscale of the Greenhouse Project, Shirazi & Keivani’s conceptual framework is employed, drawing on its soft infrastructure aspects such as equity, social inclusion, interaction, participation, safety, and livelihood. To explore the social dynamics amongst neighbors, qualitative research is performed on both actors: MKB and the Greenhouse tenants. Study results demonstrate high levels of affinity, connectedness, and networking amongst neighbors, proving to be in line with the Nordic Housing Model concept. In conclusion, new environmentally sustainable housing developments do not need to be less friendly or sociable. Instead, they can become strong sustainable communities, places for people to live and interact while feeling a sense of belonging, well-being, and high quality of life.
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