Happy Homes Phase 2: Designed to Engage

Policy recommendations for promoting sociability in multi-family housing

Fostering strong social relationships is important for community happiness, health, and resilience. Given that multi-family housing is a major source of rental and owner-occupied housing in most cities, how can we boost sociability in these places?

Thoughtful, relationship-building design is often stymied by existing policies and old habits. With the support of the Real Estate Foundation of BC, and in collaboration with a dedicated cohort of planners, developers, health authorities and architects, Happy Cities set out to find some pragmatic paths to more sociable housing— and we discovered six design actions that could make a real difference in British Columbia and beyond.

You can check out what we learned in our new report, Designed to Engage, and its supplementary survey of 10 case studies. You can also read our Medium article, “Architecture helped me heal. So I created a new guide to fight loneliness.

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