|Ph.D Student||Mitrany Michal|
|Subject||Subjective Housing Density and the Housing Context|
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Professor Emeritus Arza Churchman|
The purpose of this research was to understand the meaning of housing density for individuals experiencing it in medium-high density residential environments. The research examined the physical-spatial and the social-cultural context of life in two residential environments, within one urban region in Haifa, Yizraelia and Ramot Sapir. The gross residential density is similar in both of them: 40 housing units per acre. The research sample was 210 adults, men and women who have lived in the neighborhood over one year. The research methodology combined quantitative and qualitative research methods in the data gathering phase (a physical survey, observations, structured and unstructured interviews) and data analysis phase (statistical analysis, graphic descriptions, narratives). The residents of Ramot Sapir are more satisfied with the neighborhood. Yizraelia residents enjoy more of a variety of services, open spaces and public transportation. The perceived density is lower in Ramot Sapir. The evaluation of the density is more positive in Yizraelia. High perceived density is not correlated with negative subjective density (crowding). High perceived density can be evaluated as positive, and vice versa. The reason for the differences in the evaluation is the advantages of high density which exist in Yizraelia but not in Ramot Sapir. By comparing the two neighborhoods we demonstrated that the quantitative figure of objective gross density by itself does not suggest a positive or a negative evaluation. The context and its components affect the evaluation more then the numeric density figure itself. The research demonstrates that subjective density has positive as well as negative aspects. In both neighborhoods, we found that residents evaluate the density in public places (stores, main streets, services, etc.) in a positive manner. In contrast, they evaluate the density in residence buildings in a negative manner. We proposed a new concept, parallel to crowding, which represents a positive subjective density - “vitality”.