Scholarly article on topic 'Effect of Environmental Physical Elements in Creating Residential Complex's Vitality for the Enhancement of Social Interactions'

Effect of Environmental Physical Elements in Creating Residential Complex's Vitality for the Enhancement of Social Interactions Academic research paper on "Economics and business"

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Abstract of research paper on Economics and business, author of scientific article — Atefeh Deljooy Kooshali, Amir Reza Karimi Azeri, Reza Parvizi, S. Bagher Hosseini

Abstract Cheerfulness and vitality are the missing links of urban life. Rapid population growth and planning for establishing more housing ignore the quality of the environment and finally cheerfulness and vitality disappear resulting in mental and physical illness of housing users. This study is of case-survey one that data has been analyzed by SPSS software. By examining results, we found that more audience can be encouraged to attending into space by promoting the quality of the environment and creating cheerfulness.

Academic research paper on topic "Effect of Environmental Physical Elements in Creating Residential Complex's Vitality for the Enhancement of Social Interactions"

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Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 201 (2015) 255 - 264

Asian Conference on Environment-Behaviour Studies, AcE-Bs2015, 20-22 February 2015,

Tehran, Iran

Effect of Environmental Physical Elements in Creating Residential Complex's Vitality for the Enhancement of Social Interactions

Atefeh Deljooy Kooshalia, Amir Reza Karimi Azerib,Reza Parvizic, S. Bagher Hosseinid*

a M. A in architecture and urban design, Deylaman Institute of Higher education, Lahijan, Iran

b Assistant Professor, Architecture and art faculty, University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran c lecturer, architecture and urban design, Deylaman Institute of Higher education, Lahijan, Iran d Assocat Professor, School of Architecture and Environmental Design, IUST, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

Cheerfulness and vitality are the missing links of urban life. Rapid population growth and planning for establishing more housing ignore the quality of the environment and finally cheerfulness and vitality disappear resulting in mental and physical illness of housing users. This study is of case-survey one that data has been analyzed by SPSS software. By examining results, we found that more audience can be encouraged to attending into space by promoting the quality of the environment and creating cheerfulness.

© 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of AMER (Association of Malaysian Environment-Behaviour Researchers) and cE-Bs (Centre for Environment-Behaviour Studies, Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia.

Keywords. Residential complex; vitality; social interactions; physical elements

1. Introduction

Residential house is the center of human life. Before throwing into the world, man has been put into house's cradle. Settlement means attachment to a certain place that can be a farm or a gray alley and possession of a house in which heart is flourished, and brain is activated. Some houses are silent, some crying and singing. Residency

* Corresponding author.Tel. +98-911-244-4484; fax: +98-141-4233-8548.

E-mail address: atefe.deljoo@yahoo.com.

1877-0428 © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of AMER (Association of Malaysian Environment-Behaviour Researchers) and cE-Bs (Centre for Environment-Behaviour Studies, Faculty of Architecture, Planning & Surveying, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.08.174

represents establishing a meaningful connection between man and an assumed environment. This connection has resulted from an attempt for achieving identity namely belonging to a place. Self-understanding is reached when man selects a house and establishes his existence in the world (Schultz, 2002, 28).

Apartment dwelling can be viewed as the most development in the process of man's settlement in towns transforming into a dominant urban house in contemporary times. In recent years, rapid population growth and urbanization has been created shortage for residential spaces and led modern housing toward high-density apartment with dull, soulless and uniform blocks. In this regard, quality decreases and quantity has been considered. Ignoring the quality causes vitality to disappear resulting in mental and physical illness of housing users. Social vitality is a requirement and loss of social vitality brings about many consequences such as depression, boredom, disaffiliation with others, isolation, frustration feeling and so forth (Abhari, 2010, 48). Nowadays, most residential complexes have less vitality and its occupants have depressed and sad mental moods while in traditional and old houses, they had lively spaces in which the presence of a significant number of people in a wide range of time of day can be observed (Gehl, 1996, 38). The main purpose of creating building is a joy and happiness of the inhabitants of the buildings and the old relationship between the settlements and vitality said by Socrates. Based on this view, buildings are means to achieve happiness, joy, and vitality. Joy and vitality are one of the main components of environmental quality. Lively environment is the underlying social interactions between individuals. Regular attendance and active public space are desirable spaces, which promote the active participation of the people; vitality, freshness and vitality in residential complexes have been increased. Objective of this study is searching a way to create a fresh, succulent and juicy atmosphere based on the elements of spatial quality in residential space. This study is a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods. In the first stage, backgrounds concerning space vitality and vitality have been examined, and factors influencing vitality and space attendance have been extracted.

2. The objectives of the study

Since desirable space causes people to attend regularly and actively, promoting the active participation of people leads to increased vitality and freshness of the residential space. The purpose of this paper is to identify the factors that enhance the freshness and space vitality and attendance in residential units.

3. Research questions

Which of the environmental spatial qualities have a major role in creating vitality in residential complexes?

4. Hypothesis

Due to the lack of responding spaces for common activities and social interactions in residential complexes, people cannot attend actively and continuously, and vitality can reach a minimum level. More audience can be encouraged to attending into space by promoting the quality of the environment and creating vitality.

The main hypothesis of this paper is that effective spatial characteristics such as vision and proper perspective, green open spaces, natural factors and water bodies enhance the vitality of life in residential complexes.

5. Background

5.1. Vitality

Vitality is a concept in psychology. Usually, it consists of three elements including joy, happiness and satisfaction with life. The term vitality in the Persian word means happiness, vitality, joy, happiness and satisfaction. (Dehkhoda, 1994,31). For this concept, there are many equivalents can be cited. ( Vuchic, 1999,25). Robert Cowan in the Dictionary of Urbanism defines the vitality suitable for life and provides a desirable quality of life (Cowan, 2005, 31). John Ross is believed to refer to the vitality the term livability should be used instead of the Quality of life. He defines the vitality as quality of life perceived and experienced by people in urban areas (Golkar, 2006, 24). From the perspective of Chapman and Lynch, Factors contributing to the vitality, there are good public spaces.

These spaces (including open spaces of neighborhoods) can provide vitality with its charm and influence on the human mind (chapman, 2004, 21). Paumier in the creating a vibrant city center introduces factors influencing a successful and vibrant places as space situation, space size, space planning and design (Paumier, 2010, 15)

5.2. Social interactions

According to Maslow's hierarchy of human needs, the needs of the individual can be divided into two groups. The first group is material and corporeal needs that followed by the other group i.e. mental and spiritual dimension. Accordingly, one innate human need is the need for establishing social relations and interactions so that human can not live without it (Rafi Poor, 2004,38). Since 1960, with the establishment of environmental psychology, human qualities, was deemed important in the design of public areas and more users use their influence on the environment. John Lange in the creation of architectural theory, the audience participation and social interaction is emphasized (Lang, 2003, 25). Bentley in his book Responsive environments emphasizes that human-built environment can enrich people's opportunities by maximizing the degree of choice available to them. A physical environment can affect this degree of choice in terms of five qualities of the built and human environment namely, permeability, variety, legibility, robustness and richness. These elements increase the participation and attendance of users in the environment (Bentley, 2005, 21) Residential complexes is being criticized because of separating the inhabitants of the natural environment and green space.

5.3. Public spaces

Public spaces in residential spaces are one in which individuals and social groups share. These spaces are center for the exchange of ideas and information and a place for the formation of social networks (Hajer and Reijndorp, 2001). What make these spaces socially active is primarily the physical factors that provides entry and stay of people in space. Natural factors, light, water, green space, visibility and proper perspective, environmental beauty and charm of the residents are effective in these areas.

5.4. Vitality modes

Vitality Is a perceptive-cognitive phenomenon having been shaped in the process of trade-off among physical and understandable characteristics of the environment and mental ability, prior experiences and control goals. According to this view, the quality of the environment design, including can be defined in relation to the human experience and perception. In this view, observer considers physical attributes of the environment and then adopts various ideas and in the end evaluates it (Hoffman et al., 2003).

5.5. Assessment of the vitality of space

Several measurement methods and indicators have been suggested for measuring the vitality. In this assay Neighborhood Livability Assessment Survey has been used to assess the vitality of the neighborhood as a tool to extract indicators used, which considers the resident are priorities (Dunstan, 2007). This tool shows that the environmental quality is a priority for residents. Residents points of view in promoting have been knotted with the vitality and desirable quality of roads and pavements (Toet and van Schaik, 2012).

Recent research examines the built environment in relation to the quality assessment of the neighborhood unit. In this research, field agents were tested for reliability and validity of the survey instrument. Witch et al. examined the effect of environment on mental health. They compared the relationship between the built environment and mental health in two regions located in North London. Also in Baltimore America, the relationship between visual features and happiness and health of families and children were tested (Caughy et al., 2001). In another study, residential environment assessment tools were used in order to explore the relationship between the built environment and the happiness and welfare of the residents (Dunstan et al., 2005).

Neighborhood Livability Assessment Survey

Natural elements

Water body

Trees in public space

Vegetation and green space

Visibility and perspective

Fig. 1. Neighborhood livability assessment.

6. The research method

This paper seeks ways to create an atmosphere of happiness, joy and beauty in a residential area based on spatial quality components. A descriptive analytic study has been performed on 100 individuals living in the residential complex of Golestan and Nasim. Questionnaires were distributed randomly among the residents of the residential complex and were asked to participate in surveys and questionnaires containing questions that approximately 89% (100) of them were willing to cooperate. Out of 100 subjects, there were 52 females and 48 males with a mean age of 35 years. Some respondents in the survey questions have been interviewed based on their views about residential complex. Natural elements were considered as independent variable and level of resident interaction was considered as a dependent variable. This assessment was performed in a closed questionnaire allowing data to be analyzed more carefully. Questions were grouped into two types. The first group was designed based on Likert scale. In the other, resident views about how to use natural element and open spaces have been searched. Likert responses have been divided into five categories: very high, high, medium, low and very low, respectively. After completing surveys and collecting questionnaires, data have been classified relating to each question and its findings were consistent with field observations. In this study, the mutual relationship between the two variables in the study was examined, and changes in the independent variable were predicted due to the dependent variable changes.

7. Data analysis

Question 1: How much do you feel satisfaction with green space available at your home? Table 1. Green space.

Golestan Nasim

( Weight)

1.08+ 0.04 +

Very Low (-2)

Low (2-)

Medium

High do

Very High

(2 + )

f n f n /. 0 0 /.0 0 7.8 2 24 6

20 5 52

44 11 7.4

/ n 28 „

Golestan Nasim

Fig. 2. Analysis.

Question 2: How much do you feel satisfaction with trees and other natural elements available at your home?

Atefeh Deljooy Kooshali et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 201 (2015) 255 - 264 Table 9. Public space available.

Golestan Nasim

Weight) (

1.40+ 0.20 +

Very Low Low

(2-) (2-)

•/.12

Medium

High Very High

do (2+)

/. 4 1 /4 1 12

n f n f 16

1.1 ll.ll 1.1.1

Golestan Nasim

Fig. 10. Analysis.

Question 10: How much do you feel satisfaction with social interaction with neighbors available at your home? Table 10. Social interaction with neighbors.

Golestan Nasim

( Weight)

1.00+ 0.32-

Very Low Low Medium High Very High 80 -

(2-) (2-) (0) do (2 + ) 60 -

/ / n / n / H / n 20 ■

/0 0 •/.o 0 /16 4 /68 17 /16 4 0 ■

•/. 20 5 •/.20 5 /40 10 •/. 12 3 •/.8 2

ll 1, 1, 1,

Golestan Nasim

$ é v° ,v°

¿ / /

Fig. 11. Analysis.

Question 11: How much do you consider effective the presence of green spaces in your vitality? Table 11. The presence of green spaces in vitality.

Very Low

Medium

High Very High

do (2 + )

Golestan Nasim

( Weight)

0.44+ 0.24-

5 20 5

9 24 6

/ n 28

■J Hi

Golestan Nasim

///// / V /

Fig. 12. Analysis.

Question 12 how much do you consider effective the presence of natural elements in your vitality? Table 12. Natural elements.

Golestan Nasim

Weight (

0.92+ 0.12-

Very Low

Medium

Very High

(2 + )

/ n / n f

16 •/. 4 36 ■/. 9 36 ■/.

48 12 16 8

Fig. 13. Analysis.

Question 13: How much do you consider effective the presence of public spaces in your vitality? Table 13. Public spaces.

Golestan Nasim

Weight (

1.40+ 0.60 +

Very Low (2-)

Low (2-)

Medium

High do

Very High

(2 + )

/ « / « /

; » : 1 : » : »

n f n f n 32 „ 56 „ ,

I -■

h 2; 6

Golestan

Fig. 14. Analysis.

Question 14: Has life in this residential complex provided your vitality and freshness?

Table 14. provided your vitality.

Golestan Nasim

Very ) Low

Weight (2 - ) (

1.20+ 0.48 +

Low (2-)

Medium

(1 + )

/ « / « / 4 . 4

8. Discussion

Very High

(2 + )

/ « / 28 _ 52

11 16 4

Fig. 15. Analysis.

Qualitative studies in the field of housing and neighborhoods are of great importance. This study examines the overall space vitality is one of the important qualitative aspects. In this paper, the effects of environmental variables on the vitality of residents housing residential complexes were investigated. To assess the environmental quality components, five variables including rate of green space, trees and other natural elements, the presence of water bodies, landscape and visual quality, quality of access to public and open spaces have been used. Based on the analysis performed, satisfaction in Residential Complex of Golestan was evaluated more than Nasim complex. The most important factor in the vitality and attendance was recognized Public open space, green space and trees and other natural elements respectively. Priorities reflect the importance of open spaces and public spaces to create vitality in residential complexes. Studies show that in the first place, public open spaces create more vitality in the environment. Golestan inhabitants had more open spaces than those of Nasim complex and, for this reason, social interaction between neighbors was more. This study suggests that a green space is an encouraging element for people to participate in open space. Having the opportunity to get close to open space for residents, as well as the vision and perspective from inside the house, plays an important role in enhancing the vitality and freshness of residents. Relationship with the natural environment and the community is a fundamental need for human (Wener and carmalt,2006).

Research has shown that openness (open half space) in buildings is a key factor in resident satisfaction. Studies show that spending time in an open space and connecting with others have more positive mental effects on individual (Rodiek schwarz 2006-9).

Public open spaces have considerable situation in view of fulfilling environmental needs of individual as well as providing leisure space and base for social connection and interaction and play a considerable role in creating a communal sense (Hu ang,2006,28).

Dwellers at building complexes with an open space with such natural elements such as trees, meadow and the ones are more satisfied with their housing compared to those residing in the building complexes with an open space

without nature and green space and eventually their social relations with their neighbors is highlighted at more extensive level.

Studies by Ulrich examine green areas and their health benefits. In his research, he reported that hospital patients who were able to enjoy the view of nature recovered from illness more quickly and required less pain relief or anxiety medication and also showed fewer complications and complaints.

According to the studies conducted with respect to the effect of green space on people living in Britain revealed that the individuals enjoyed cheerfulness and vitality for pavements available at green spaces (Brown, 2006, 41). According to another study, it was found that green space available adjacent to the houses of individuals was the most important element of satisfaction among neighbors (Gifford, 1999, 85).

Golestan complex residents feel more satisfaction compared to the Nasim residents because of the water body as pool or fountain. Water intensifies sense quality of place. Water gives cheerfulness and vitality to environment and induces invitation sense of place.

Golestan complex residents had better landscape and visibility than to the Nasim complex. Looking at natural elements increases environment vitality (Mcandrew, 1953,346).

Increasing social interactions

Vitality

9. Statistical analysis of Friedman test

Fig. 16. Variable relationship.

Table 15. Average rank effective on residential vitality each of complex space elements.

Mean Ranic

18.43 Public and open space 1

16.21 Green space 2

15.31 Natural elements 3

14.65 Water body 4

12.83 perspective 5

This analysis has been performe to examine factors affecting vitality. Results suggest that computed mean rank has the greatest effect on vitality for open and public spaces (18.43) followed by green space (16.21), trees and natural elements (15.31) and perspective (12.83). This fact is affirmed statistically because significance level is less than 0.05. Hence, open and green spaces have the greatest effect in promoting an environment in residential complexes.

10. Statistical analysis of F-test

Table 16. Relationship between green spaces and vitality.

Table 17. Relationship between open spaces and vitality.

0.384 0.003

Correlation coefficient

Significance level Number of respondents

0.725 0.000

Correlation coefficient

Significance level Number of respondents

To verify the hypothesis, we must find a significant relationship

between the vitality and green open spaces by relying on the questionnaires. The results of tests on green open

spaces between two variables suggests that among the 100 respondents, the correlation coefficient with a significant level of 003/0 = â equal to 384/0 = R is calculated. Since the level of significance is less than the intended level 05/0 = â, so it can be concluded that there is a positive and significant relationship between open spaces and vitality. Also in the case of green space and vitality, the correlation coefficient 000/0 = â equal to 752/0 = R is calculated. Since the level of significance is less than 05/0 = â, so there is a positive and significant correlation between the two variables and the more the dimensions of the vitality, the greater the residential complex's vitality. According to our analysis, the main hypothesis of this paper was confirmed.

11. Conclusion

Lively space is one which in the range of days, all kinds of people comes over voluntarily and spends a few moments in that environment. In other words, space should be as such that people come and stay. In modern societies, desirable social relations has been faint. In many residential complexes, neighbors haven't any connection with each other and don't know each other. Social interactions in a residential complex require the presence of people in public places in residential complex. A residential outdoor space is crystallization nature of collective life. Where civilians are present. Residential open spaces are underlying for activities and human behavior. Establishing a lively environment can promote social relationships and make space attractive and dynamic. In the spatial quality components, criteria effective in promoting the vitality of space to the level of importance are: Public open space, green space, trees and natural elements, bodies of water, visibility and proper perspective. The results show that the green open spaces play a key role in increasing resident's interaction. Now that life in residential complexes separate humans and the natural environment, creating open and green spaces provide a platform for communication and useful social interaction.

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