|Monday, June 22|
Of homes, domains and boundaries: international immigration and the transition of Torontos postwar suburbs since 1980
* Giacomo Valzania, McGill University, Canada
My doctoral research project in architecture aims to establish a dialogue between space-focused disciplines and the material culture of postwar residential landscapes. In particular, I propose an empirical study of post-1980 physical and use-related change in two cases of Toronto’s modernist suburbs. This “template” – rich in landscape connectivity and housing typologies after European welfare states’ precedents – structured urban development from the 1950s to the late 1970s. Since suburbs consolidated, they have become home of growing multicultural communities, whose socioeconomic vulnerability has been mapped (Hulchanski 2010) and confirmed by ethnographic works (Ghosh 2014). Recent trends in densification and re-qualification have generally ignored grounded needs (Keil 2015), and impacted on housing affordability (Rosen & Walks 2015). Current research-based responses show two main limitations: from a cultural perspective, little attention is given to cross-cultural dynamics among self-identified groups. From a design one, newcomers’ spatial practices are not explored. In my project I propose urban design as theoretical “lens” and research endeavour to expose the dynamic relationships of changing suburban spaces with the meanings that residents assign to them. Building on critiques of “methodological cityism” (Angelo & Wachsmuth 2014) I explore the potential of suburbs as horizontal landscapes (Sievert 1997; Secchi & Viganò 2011; Deheane 2018). I suggest to move beyond the “inclusion of difference” proposed by works on “multicultural planning” (e.g. Buraydi 2015), and to use interculturalism (Amin 2002; Agyeman & Erickson 2012; Balbo 2016) as a better equipped framework to engage with self-identified cultures, whose dialogue should base collective alternatives for suburban transformation. The following question establishes my study: how have international immigrants revisited Toronto’s modern suburbs in housing morphology and program, and in the access and use of their domains since 1980? So far, archival research, building permits analysis (Whitehand & Carr 1999) and site observations on two selected case studies have offered a preliminary portrayal of interventions. Rebuilding, additions, and inclusion of secondary suites have interested single- family homes. Meanwhile, fences delimiting rental buildings’ sites have been periodically negotiated by tenants (as suggested by Hess and Farrow, 2010). From next summer, I plan to expand preliminary knowledge through fieldwork in collaboration with local organizations and homeowners associations. I will engage with residents in two activities: collective walks across the neighbourhoods and focus groups. Audio recording, annotations and photographic surveys will base critical analysis of suburban transformations (in form text and drawings, as inspired by Chow, 2002) and their associated multiple meanings. My research retains the potential for two major contributions: from an epistemological perspective, it can foster residents’ agency in collectively re-signifying their living environments; in strategic terms, it can inform future planning policies, urban design guidelines and site-based strategies to better respond to evolving sociocultural dynamics. In case of selection for the YRW at IAPS 2020, I will use this opportunity to present my preliminary findings (from both introductory analysis and on-going fieldwork), and seek feedback on theoretical framework, methods and analytical strategies. Moreover, I will assist to other presented works with sincere interest.
A key design parameter for care units influencing social participation of the elderly: distance from bedroom to sitting area
* Yizhe Wang, Harbin Institute of Technology, China
Dake Wei, Harbin Institute of Technology, China
Background Setting up care units in nursing homes can improve the quality of life of the elderly and promote their social interaction.The corridor length from the resident's bedroom to the sitting area is the key factor that decides the residents to participate in social activities.China stipulates that the number of beds per care unit should not be greater than 60.Because there are many residents in a unit, the unit size is large and the corridor is too long.The United States proposed that the length of corridors in nursing homes should not exceed 120 feet, while Japan proposed nursing distances of 30 to 40 meters.However, these data are all from the experience of designers, without a clear theoretical basis;No relevant studies in China have proposed specific corridor distances. Therefore, by observing and studying the relationship between the social enthusiasm of the elderly and the distance between their bedroom and the sitting area, this study determined a corridor limit value and appropriate value suitable for social activities of the elderly, providing research basis for the optimization of unit layout of typical spatial patterns and the improvement of relevant design standards in China. Methods Through reading a lot of literature, the author summarizes the typical plane types of care units in nursing homes.In the preparatory stage of the field survey, in-depth interviews are mainly conducted with the receptionists to understand the operation of each institution.In the real state observation phase, observation was conducted on four institutions, and 115 samples of the elderly were collected. The frequent travel periods of the elderly were selected, and the presence of the elderly in the room was recorded every 15 minutes to exclude the non-autonomous travel of the elderly. Results The results of SPSS regression analysis show that the number of trips for the elderly is negatively correlated with the distance from the bedroom to the sitting area.When the number of times that the resident walk out of the bedroom and arrive at the sitting area for social activities is not less than once every half a day, the distance should not exceed 35m;When the number of times that the resident walk out of the bedroom to the sitting area for social activities within each hour is not less than 1 time, the distance should not exceed 24m.Therefore, the appropriate distance should not exceed 24m, and the maximum distance should not exceed 35m. Conclusion When the distance from the bedroom to the sitting area is appropriate, it can increase the social enthusiasm of the residents and improve the security;Reducing the number of residents is beneficial to promoting social interaction among the residents;The winding corridor path is not conducive to the resident's social behavior;Sufficient light is beneficial to improve the frequency of use of sitting area;The length of the corridor can be used as a constraint on the size of the care unit.
The evaluation of partnership research in planning and architecture within indigenous communities: Theoretical prospects and methodological challenges
* Elisa Gouin, Université Laval, Canada
The research project aims to determine the effects of partnership research in indigenous contexts and to develop an evaluative framework. Partnership research seems to respond to the interests of indigenous communities who are reclaiming more leadership and an increased participation in research (De Leeuw et al. 2012). In fact, community participation is required by most of the funding agencies (CRSH et al. 2014). However, participation is rarely properly evaluated (Rowe & Frewer 2000) and has little real impact on the outcome of development projects (Blondiaux & Fourniau 2011; Chess 2000; Cook & Kothari 2001). The need for an appropriate assessment process is a corner stone of partnership research, considered within the concept of partnership space (espace partenarial) (Caillouette & Soussi 2014, Bussières 2018) whereby relationality (Wilson 2008) occupies a central role. The research thus focuses on relationships among actors (academic, political, community): their evolution over time on individuals, on communities, on collaborations among Indigenous people and scholars, on knowledge and living environment production. This ongoing PhD project is currently in its methodological development, looking to start data gathering through summer 2020. It will favor a case study, as it fits adequately with the indigenous research paradigm (Latulippe 2015; Gentelet et al. 2018; Smith 2012). Research objectives are to document participatory activities conducted in a partnership research context (documentary and oral sources) and to strengthen the theories of partnership research by providing an evaluation framework adapted to indigenous contexts, in order to assess the impact of knowledge mobilization. For more than 20 years, the Innu community of Uashat mak Mani-utenam and the School of Architecture at Laval University, in the province of Quebec, have been engaged in partnership research through numerous participatory activities focused on culturally appropriate architecture and planning. These activities are rooted in research programs funded by major organizations (ARUC; CRSH Partnership; Fonds des services aux collectivités). Apart from its longevity, the partnership is a pertinent subject as it offers different ways of working, including co-learning and angles to decode the nature and effects of the interrelationships at the core of the systems of actors (university and community). The methodology includes the creation of an evaluation framework rooted in indigenous context. This framework is to be tested through an inventory of all the tangible traces of participatory activities carried out by the partners over the past 20 years and through semi-structured interviews with the stakeholders (investigators, students and community members), based on intentional and quota sampling, to release non-tangible aspect of the partnership. The goal is to evaluate the actors’ perception of both activities and their respective roles through the lens of an evolving collaborative framework by using mapping links to visualize the system of relationships. This presentation offers to discuss the methodological challenges arising from the conceptual framework and the need to operationalize it in an indigenous context.