Residential satisfaction of children in mass housing

Residential satisfaction is a significant topic in environmental psychology, urban design and housing yet there is little research on residential satisfaction among children. Although a few scholars, such as Severcan (2012), examined children’s place attachment (a construct that is positively correlated with residential satisfaction) in historical districts that were slated for urban regeneration, we know little about the effects of living in mass housing developments on children’s place satisfaction. This research aims to understand the residential satisfaction of children living in mass housing, which were built in the context of squatter housing regeneration. More specifically, we asked whether and to what extent does moving to mass housing affect children’s satisfaction with the residential environment? Data is drawn from an on-going research project in Ankara, Turkey, called “Living in the Turkish Housing Development Administration’s (TOKI) mass housing.” TOKI is a governmental institution tasked with the mission of alleviating the country’s housing shortage. It also acts as the primary institution in the country responsible from the implementation of urban regeneration projects. In Turkey, as in some other parts of the world, urban regeneration has been dominated by property-led redevelopment (see, for example, Butler and Hamnett, 2009; He and Wu, 2005). In squatter housing regeneration projects of TOKI, this entails the demolition of squatter houses and replacing them with high-rise apartments, which are usually constructed on the same site and at a higher density (Karaman, 2013). These housing units are then made available to displaced residents for purchase via mortgage loans and to the public at market prizes. In TOKI projects a cookie-cutter design is implemented. All buildings look alike and are designed only for residential purposes. High-rise apartments are arranged in superblocks. While some apartments are clustered around a small playground equipped with a decent amount of playing equipment, others are grouped around large parking lots. Most TOKI projects lack recreational and sport facilities. Oftentimes, especially in crime-prone neighborhoods, to protect their community from hostile outsiders, residents build large gated walls around their apartments. In Ankara case, while some of these mass housing developments are located inside the heart of the city, some others are located in the urban periphery. In this study, the authors focus on a TOKI project located near the historical city center of Ankara. Forty-one children, ranging in age from 9 to 12 years old and living in a mass housing development that was built in the context of a squatter housing regeneration project participated in a survey, focus group, photo-voice and mapping activity. While some of the child participants moved to TOKI units from the destroyed squatter settlements, some others moved from neighborhoods with higher socioeconomic status. In surveys, the authors investigated children’s satisfaction from their past and current houses, as well as from their past and current neighborhoods. In the paper, the authors will present the results obtained from the surveys, focus groups and mapping activities.
55th The Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, 22 - 25 October 2015


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Citation Formats
Y. C. Severcan and M. A. Barlas, “Residential satisfaction of children in mass housing,” presented at the 55th The Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, 22 - 25 October 2015, Texas, USA, 2015, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: