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Post occupancy and participatory design evaluation of a marginalized low-income settlement in Ahmedabad, India

Sharmin, Tania ORCID: and Khalid, Rihab 2022. Post occupancy and participatory design evaluation of a marginalized low-income settlement in Ahmedabad, India. Building Research and Information 50 (5) , pp. 574-594. 10.1080/09613218.2021.2018286

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This paper presents a post-occupancy evaluation (POE) of a participatory design project for a marginalized low-income community in Ahmedabad, India. Through a mixed-methods sociotechnical approach, it presents an in-depth qualitative assessment of the architectural design and homeowners’ use of and satisfaction with domestic spaces. Analysis shows that although a participatory design approach can lead to improved user satisfaction, it can have contradictory environmental and sustainability outcomes in low-income communities due to homeowner’s limited environmental awareness, aspirations for improved social standing, and financial constraints. Findings show that combining POE with participatory design can help recognize occupants’ housing needs while also revealing various hierarchical agencies in participation and power dynamics within the built environment. It further substantiates the need for a sociotechnical approach in POE that integrates environmental standards with occupants’ contextual socio-cultural needs and incorporates plans for future socio-economic growth, while providing assessment of the design process itself and engagement with various stakeholders. The study shows that successful Building Performance Evaluations (BPE) should incorporate bottom-up participation through incremental, and affordable demonstration projects in housing developments that take account of localized socio-cultural contexts and allow more inclusive development through stakeholder integration for long-term sustainable transitions.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Architecture
Uncontrolled Keywords: Post-occupancy evaluation; participatory design; low-income housing; end-users’ satisfaction; Global South
Additional Information: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 0961-3218
Funders: Research England QR-Funded GCRF Grant at De Montfort University
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 12 January 2022
Date of Acceptance: 8 December 2021
Last Modified: 17 May 2023 00:02

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