Back to rural: Rethinking suburban housing

Examensarbete för masterexamen
Master's Thesis
Architecture and planning beyond sustainability, MSc
Erdem, Mine
It is known by everyone that the migration to urban areas is increasing. But what about rural migration? While ongoing trends such as globalization or urbanization led people to live in urban areas, for many people they are the reasons to get away from urban areas. Decreasing living standards in urban areas, the desire to be closer to nature to get away from noise and pollution, or remote-work opportunity can be counted among the reasons. Many Swedish suburbs and rural areas are receiving migrations. Population growth is projected for many low-populated areas, especially the ones close to the cities. Due to this development, there are new housing projects in these locations. The housing plot sizes for low-populated areas are traditionally around 800-1800 sqm in Sweden. By reducing this size, the natural area can be saved, and the future expansion of the built area can be slower. This thesis focuses on projects which include many houses in the project area, and discusses how the housing density can be increased. This way, more houses can fit in the same project plot to save nature. By increasing the number of houses for the same project plot, houses will be closer to each other. This threatens the privacy of the users. Privacy is one of the important housing qualities for people who want to move to a low-populated area. Also, to support immigration to lowpopulated areas, there must be suitable houses for everybody, not only for families but also for single-person, youth and the elderly. The users should be able to reorganize the interiors as their wish. Therefore, flexibility is another important quality of this design project. Due to these main goals, the design question is: What are the potentials to build dense dwelling areas and at the same time improve privacy and flexible space for residents? One of the ongoing projects located in the municipality of Borås is chosen to discuss how to propose more housing units for the same plot area, but still provide privacy and flexibility in the houses. Two projects are proposed for this area. In the first design proposal, the housing density increases by 50% (14 units to 21 units), this project is proposed as a housing project for the rural area. For the second design proposal, the housing density increases by 100% (14 units to 28 units). This project is more experimental to show how it would be if the density is doubled and proposed as a suburban housing project. But also would be implemented in the chosen rural area due to many reasons.
migration to suburbs, Swedish rural housing, one-dwelling building, privacy
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