Impacts of Flats Physical Environment on Local Social Network
Walk up flats have become common low-cost housing types, particularly in Malaysian city fringes because of their relatively low construction and maintenance costs. Nonetheless, the impacts of such physical environment on residents' social contacts have not been duly explored. While efforts of social integration focus on provision of big public spaces and amenities, the potential influence of the building configuration has been neglected. Outdoor routine activities around the houses generate social encounters and interactions affecting local social relationship. This renders the configuration of the outdoor space as viable units for analysis. The study compares the influence of four typical flats layouts, with differing outdoor space configurations, on residents' social networks. Data derived from social network mapping is statistically tested for significant variations across the types. Findings reveal that the residents of the different type of flats have significantly varying levels of social network sizes at different spatial boundaries suggesting the impacts of the flats configurations.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: December 1, 2013
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