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Bringing people together through housing and combatting loneliness: Understanding the role of housing in stimulating social support and combatting loneliness among elderly and young adults
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Urban and Regional Studies.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
För människor samman genom boende och motverka ensamhet (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

The high prevalence of loneliness, especially among elderly and young adults, calls for measures to connect people and strengthen social support networks. Housing models that bring people together and reduce loneliness are seen as a solution. The theory implies a causal relation in which the building design can stimulate social interaction, contribute to social support, and combat loneliness. This research aims to get an insight in the way different housing models for elderly and young adults can stimulate social support and combat loneliness, by looking at social contact design principles. The research consists of six qualitative case studies spread over Sweden, the Netherlands and Austria. Among the case studies there are two nursery homes, two student accommodations and two co-housing initiatives. The data is collected within a period of five weeks, using the go-along method, in-depth interviews and diaries. The research confirms the causal relation between building design, social interactions and social support. However, it was found that loneliness must be considered separate from this. While housing models cannot combat loneliness, they can stimulate social interactions between residents that help to build a social support network. In addition, the housing situation cannot cause loneliness, but it can reinforce an already existing feeling of loneliness among residents by hindering possibilities for residents to interact and build social support networks. Based on the research findings, two policy recommendations are made. First of all, future housing models should aim to integrate students and elderly within the wider society. Second, future housing models should offer a building design and organizational structure that stimulate social interaction and social support between residents.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Series
TRITA-ABE-RPT ; 19704
Keywords [en]
loneliness, social support, design, cohousing, housing, planning, young adults, elderly
National Category
Other Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-265161OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-265161DiVA, id: diva2:1377500
Subject / course
Urban and Regional Planning
Educational program
Degree of Master - Sustainable Urban Planning and Design
Presentation
2019-10-23, 00:00 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-12-12 Created: 2019-12-12 Last updated: 2019-12-12Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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More styles
Language
  • de-DE
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  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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