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Social wellbeing and the residential environment: The influence of design on inhabitants' wellbeing in Doha

Janahi, Hameda 2021. Social wellbeing and the residential environment: The influence of design on inhabitants' wellbeing in Doha. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Health and wellbeing have been key considerations in designing sustainable environments. However, most research on built environments and wellbeing has been conducted in Western communities, with very little research in the context of Middle Eastern countries. This study aims to fill the gap by investigating the impact of the residential built environment on social wellbeing in the cultural context of Doha, the capital of Qatar. The research studied six neighbourhoods in Doha. The research involved interviews and spatial models (space syntax), complemented by questionnaires and an observation survey. The data were analysed separately; however, they are thematically discussed in this thesis. The research corroborates the findings of a great deal of previous work on neighbourhoods’ social wellbeing, while the association between residential environment layout and inhabitants’ privacy was unique to Doha. The analysis found that household privacy was influenced by: 1) the flexibility of neighbourhoods’ layouts and 2) the dwellings' layouts. The Qatari dwelling layouts facilitate social cohesion and interaction without compromising households’ privacy. Furthermore, the dwelling layout flexibility allows expanding when families grow in size without relocating, allowing stronger relationships and mutual support between family members and neighbours. As for the impact of spatial use on social wellbeing, this research broadly supports the work of other studies in this area, linking public spaces with the inhabitants’ casual interactions. However, this research found that some uses have a higher impact than others. In Doha, mosques significantly influenced inhabitants’ social interaction, especially for men. The social relationships between neighbours were maintained in private spaces – Majles-. Majles had the lowest integration value compared to other spaces in the dwelling, which ensures household privacy. Based on the findings of this investigation, recommendations are made and guidelines developed for future residential developments in Qatar and the surrounding region to ensure the social wellbeing of communities

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Architecture
Uncontrolled Keywords: Social wellbeing, residential design, Doha
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 2 September 2022
Last Modified: 06 May 2023 01:05

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