Paper presented at the XXXIII IAHS World Congress on Housing, 27-30 September 2005,"Transforming Housing Environments through Design", University of Pretoria.
Social considerations are usually only considered relatively late in the process of developing low cost housing or other housing estates. By the time a social impact assessment is requested by the relevant authority, if it is requested, it is almost a given that the development will proceed. In general, little consideration is given to how the development will change the sense of place, or what the specific needs that will be created by the development will be. Developers, engineers, town planners and architects seem to take little cognisance of the social impacts that result from their designs or developments. This includes the physical design of the houses as well as the layout and surrounding structures and facilities. The aim of this paper is to take a step towards creating awareness about social impacts that can be experienced in housing estates and to bring to the fore special needs that have been identified by being involved in the field of low cost housing. Designs that are energy efficient, apart from having a positive environmental impact, can also have a positive social impact.
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