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Ongoing Doctoral Projects


Towards a climate-adapted building design in a semi-arid climate – The effects of different design features on indoor climate in residential buildings in Sacaba Valley, Cochabamba, Bolivia

Fabricio Montaño

Research Problem

In residential buildings is likely to have thermal discomfort due the diurnal temperature variation. The interaction of the building design features and indoor climate have not been properly defined yet. Therefore, there is a need to look at different building typologies and provide knowledge to architects in order to achieve better indoor thermal comfort. The impact of the study will be to reduce the temperature variation on indoor environment of the residential buildings in Sacaba and to communicate this knowledge about current thermal behavior to housing occupants, local architects and authorities and ways for improvement will also increase. 

Study Aim, research questions

The aim of my research is to develop better understanding of the impacts of different residential building typologies in the indoor thermal comfort limits.

In order to achieve the aim of the study, the following questions should be answered:

1.      What are the predominant residential building typologies in relation to thermal conditions in Sacaba?

2.      What are the thermal conditions in residential building typologies?

3.      How do the people of Sacaba perceive the indoor thermal environment?

4.      How can residential building design be improve as regards thermal performance?


Research strategy methods and tools:

1.      Identification of residential buildings typologies will be conducted. Quantitative and qualitative approach.  Field study methods, observation and documentation.

2.      Indoor climate measurements of the building typologies selected will be performed. Quantitative approach, meteorological equipment and structured interview forms.

3.      Surveys of thermal perception and indoor climate measurements. Quantitative approach, questionnaires with the use of SPSS and Excel and meteorological equipment for indoor climate assessment.

4.      Simulation study, quantitative approach. Parametric modelling method with the use of DEROB-LTH program

Expected results

-lncreased knowledge to architects and engineers, having a better understanding about housing thermal conditions of predominant residential building typologies,  identifying which housing materials reduce illness and contributes with higher life expectancy to the people and indoor climate housing improvement.

-Increased knowledge of the effects of the residential building design, indoor thermal comfort, local thermal comfort limits and the methodology for assessment.


Assisted self-help housing as a tool for resource mobilization and community cohesion

Ivette Arroyo Baquero


As a response to rapid urbanization and the lack of adequate governmental social housing provision, informal settlements or slums  have mainly developed in risk prone areas or in the city periphery, and are built incrementally through self-help housing. Around 863 million people lived in slums in 2012 (UN-Habitat, 2012b). Natural disasters affect mostly the poor because they increase their vulnerability when self-building without any technical assistance. Around 14.9 million people have become homeless due to natural disasters in 2011 (UNHCR, 2013). The number of forcibly displaced people worldwide exceeded 42 million in 2011 (UNHCR, 2011). These figures show the risk that the global number of slum dwellers can grow in an unprecedented way. Organized Self-help Housing (OSHH) is “a process that involves the community’s active participation and decision making in planning, design, self-construction, and post-project activities with the technical assistance of a facilitating organization” (Arroyo and Åstrand, 2013). The OSHH process has the potential of supporting the poor in accessing adequate housing whilst enhancing its capabilities. How these enhanced capabilities can contribute towards overcoming poverty in the long term has not been studied. The licentiate thesis studied organized self-help housing from three perspectives: a) current practice in developing countries, b) institutional approaches; and c) the organized self-help housing process. This will be done through case studies in Costa Rica and Ecuador.

The PhD thesis will study users involvement in post-disaster housing reconstruction and how it can contribute towards reducing pre-disaster vulnerabilities of the poor. Furthermore, the research will discuss how different types of users involvement in housing reconstruction processes contribute to enhance the capabilities and resilience of the poor. The latter will be done through case studies on reconstruction of permanent housing in areas affected by typhoon Haiyan in the isle of Leyte, the Philippines.

State of knowledge

The academic debate regarding self-help housing from the 70’s and 80’s has been reconsidered in the international realm, both in the Habitat Agenda (1996) and more recently by UN-Habitat as follows:

 “Assisted self-help housing is the most affordable and intelligent way of providing sustainable shelter. It is cheap because it is based on minimum standards and incorporates a substantive amount of sweat equity. It is useful because individuals and communities engaged in it acquire precious skills. It is practical because it responds to people’s actual need and levels of affordability. It is flexible because dwelling units are often designed to be able to expand over time. But all construction, and particularly incremental upgrading, requires a suitable supply of building materials, components and fittings” (UN-Habitat, 2005: 166).

The Swedish contribution to improve housing conditions for the poor is quite unique and some researchers state that “Sweden was the first country to offer a programme of aided self-help, this being embodied in the national ‘Own Homes’ Loan Fund of 1904” (Harris, 1999). The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) has contributed towards capacity building on OSHH to non-governmental organizations such as SADEL (Sweden) and FUPROVI (Costa Rica); and it has also provided funding to research or development projects implemented by the academia.

The capability approach, housing functionings and organized self-help housing

Sen (1999) evaluates how social arrangements contribute or hinder substantive freedoms of individuals to lead the lives the value. People are considered as active agents of change whose capabilities and potentials are key for their own development (Samuels, 2005). Sen’s concept of functionings reflects “the various things a person may value doing or being”. Thus, a person’s capability refers to “the alternative combinations of functionings that are feasible for [him/] her to achieve”. Based on the capability approach, Freidiani (2007) has developed five housing functionings through participatory methods when evaluating two slum upgrading projects in Brazil. Freidiani’s housing functionings are the following: a) individualize and expand, b) afford living costs, c) have healthy environment, d) participate in decision making; and e) maintain social networks.

The OSHH process is important for what it does with people in terms of enhancing their capabilities which is a key factor for reducing their vulnerability and overcoming poverty. Enhancing people’s capabilities to build/rebuild in the way they value –through expanding people’s opportunities, choices and capacities– strengthen their collective efficacy to counteract root causes of their vulnerability and enhance their adaptive capacity; which leads to more resilient communities. This thesis argues that Turner’s theories of freedom to build and housing as a process (Turner & Fichter, 1972; Turner, 1976) should be reinterpreted with the lens of Sen’s capability approach, with a resilience perspective.

Licentiate Objectives

To develop better understanding on organized self-help housing as an enabling shelter and development strategy to overcome poverty and build more resilient communities. To study OSHH from three different perspectives: a) current practice in developing countries, b) institutional approaches; and c) the organized self-help housing process.

•       How have NGOs and CBOs planned and implemented organized self-help housing projects in developing countries since year 2000? What types of OSHH projects have been implemented? Which organizations are the main actors and what are key lessons?

•       How have FUPROVI and SADEL facilitated organized self-help housing projects? To what extent have these NGOs incorporated the principles of the Habitat Agenda in their approaches to OSHH? What are important lessons from the approaches of FUPROVI and SADEL?

•       How was the OSHH process of Hogar de Nazareth implemented? How was dweller-control over the OSHH process? How did dweller-control over the OSHH process affect the enhancement of capabilities? How did technical changes affect community development?

PhD Objectives

The PhD thesis attempts to develop better understanding on the relationship between post-disaster housing and user involvement. The latter has been done through studying post-disaster housing in areas affected by typhoon Haiyan from two different perspectives: a) the link of causal mechanisms and housing outputs; and b) users involvement in housing reconstruction processes.      In order to achieve the purpose and aims of the study, the following research questions should be answered:

•       What causal mechanisms underlying the reconstruction programme have affected housing outputs on the ground?

•       How have users been involved in reconstruction of permanent housing?

•       What opportunities and choices offered the projects to the users? What capacities have the users enhanced?


The research paradigm that guides the research is critical social science. Therefore, the research strategy follows a critical realism character in viewing “the research process as a constant digging in the ontological depth of reality” (Alvesson & Sköldberg, 2009). Case study methodology has been selected due to the possibility it offers to study the multy-layered nature of reality according to this research paradigm. This method also allows answering ‘what’ and ‘how’ research questions.

The Licentiate case studies

Case 1: Current practice in developing countries

The current practice in developing countries is defined as bottom-up initiatives, which build on the common practice of the urban poor for sheltering themselves but with technical assistance of facilitating organizations. Case 1 is an exploratory case study based on an international survey on OSHH to housing experts and practitioners who have been HDM alumni and others referred by them. The current practice in developing countries was drawn from the results of the international survey. The main tool for the survey was a questionnaire that was analyzed with a qualitative approach in order to describe general aspects of the current situation of organized self-help housing. Qualitative questions focused on the advantages and disadvantages of implementing organized self-help housing in developing countries.

Case 2: Institutional approaches to OSHH

Institutional approaches mean the way facilitating organizations work with OSHH projects. For case study 2, this thesis studied two non-governmental organizations. The first, The Foundation for the Promotion of Low-cost Housing (FUPROVI) which due to its continue learning-by-doing approach  has developed and tested different models of OSHH; and achieved financial sustainability. Field study focused on understanding the OSHH models tested by FUPROVI, advantages and disadvantages of OSHH, and actors involved in the organized self-help housing projects that this NGO has implemented since the 90s. The method was a qualitative case study using mainly semi-structured interviews to staff and key informants.

The second NGO is The Swedish Association for Development of Low Cost Housing (SADEL) – a non-profit-making association linked to the academia – that implemented an organized self-help housing project for 50 families with funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) in Rohia, Tunisia, from 1980 to 1984 (Andersson et al, 1986). The institutional approach of SADEL to OSHH focuses on local capacity development.

Case study 3: Hogar de Nazareth OSHH process

The field study in Guayaquil-Ecuador  focused on an organized self-help housing project implemented 20 years ago. The project Hogar de Nazareth is an organized self-help housing project implemented for supporting poor people in accessing housing in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Hogar de Nazareth OSHH process focused only on building houses with low degree of dweller-control over the OSHH process and without enhancing the capabilities of the community. The OSHH process changed after the implementation of phase 6 and this affected community development. Case 3 is an explanatory case study with a qualitative and quantitative approach. The techniques for collecting data will be questionnaires for households, focus groups with key people of the community, semi-structured interviews for NGO staff and key informants. Triangulation of methods will be used for data validation.

The case studies for the PhD thesis

The PhD research will study users involvement in housing reconstruction processes through case studies from three non-governmental organizations a) We Effect; b) Habitat for Humanity Philippines; and c) Gawad Kalinga. The cases for the PhD thesis will be first the reconstruction programme as a whole; secondly, several housing processes; and thirdly, a community.

Field work included two field trips implemented three months and sixteen months after typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines. The geographical focus is selected cities in the island of Leyte, Eastern Vizayas. The techniques for collecting data were semi-structured interviews NGO staff and key informants, focus groups with Haiyan survivors selected for housing projects, and an evaluation workshop with the O-Balay Housing Cooperative in Ormoc. Triangulation of methods was used for data validation.

Expected results

-        state of the arts of organized self-help housing in developing countries since year 2000.

-        better knowledge of the institutional approaches to organized self-help housing implemented by FUPROVI and SADEL in developing countries.

-        a better understanding of how different degrees of dweller-control over the organized self-help housing (OSHH) process contributes to enhance or limit people’s capabilities and other collective attributes.

-        better understanding on how causal mechanisms underlying the reconstruction programme in areas affected by Haiyan have affected housing output.

-        knowledge on how users involvement in housing reconstruction processes contribute to enhance people’s capabilities

-        development of a Model for User Involvement


The relevance of the PhD thesis is that increasing understanding on how to involve the users in housing reconstruction processes can contribute to improve current practice in post-disaster housing reconstruction.


Household energy use linked to people’s life-styles (Boendets energianvändning kopplad till människors livsstilar)

Laura Liuke


Enligt EU:s energieffektiviserings- och energitjänstedirektiv från 2006 ska Sverige till år 2020 genomföra energieffektiviseringar som minskar energianvändningen med 20 procent jämfört med år 2008.

Studier publicerade av bl.a. Energimyndigheten (ER 2007:19) och Carlsson-Kanyama m.fl. (FOI-rapport 1900-SE, 2005;) har visat att de boendes beteende har stor inverkan på hushållens energianvändning i Sverige. Enligt en studie av Carlsson-Kanyama m.fl. (FOI-rapport 1900-SE, 2005) har den kunskap som finns om energibeteende hos människor bara till liten del använts vid utformningen av kampanjer och styrmedel. En studie av Langevin m.fl. (Applied Energy 102, 2013, 1358–1370) påvisar att beteendemönster kan förklara ca 30 % av variationen i energianvändningen för uppvärmning och att förhållandevis enkla beteendeändringar kan leda till energibesparingar på 10-20 %.

Studier av hushållens energianvändning har visat stora skillnader i hushållens beteende i olika länder och mellan olika inkomstgrupper. I sin artikel (Energy Policy 49, 2012, 616-628) jämför Mills och Schleich energistatistik från 11 olika europeiska länder och påvisar betydande skillnader mellan olika länder i energibeteende. Generellt för alla är dock att hushåll med barn tenderar åta sig energibesparande åtgärder av miljöskäl medan hushåll med huvudsakligen äldre medlemmar tenderar spara energi av ekonomiska skäl. Utbildningsnivån påverkar tänkandet kring energin men det finns stora skillnader på hur stor påverkan är i olika länder och hur det syns i energianvändandet.

I en svensk studie av Vassileva, Wallin och Dahlqvist (Applied Energy 90, 2012, 182-188) studerar författarna variationerna i hushållens elförbrukning under en lång tid i två hyreshus byggda 2001. Studien visar stora variationer i elförbrukningen i dessa tekniskt identiska hus vilket enligt författarna understryker behovet av att studera hushållens energibeteende som tillsammans med inkomstnivån är avgörande för energianvändningsnivån. De identifierar behovet av att framtida energirådgivning bygger på hushållens individuella energibeteende och på förståelsen av de mönster och motiv som finns bakom beteendet.

Det faktum att ovannämnda (och andra) studier visat på en stark koppling mellan socioekonomisk bakgrund och energibeteende motiverar en djupare studie över kopplingen mellan etnisk-kulturell bakgrund och energibeteende i svenska bostäder.


Denna studie syftar till att undersöka förhållandet mellan brukarnas beteende och energianvändningen i flerbostadshus. Studien bygger på hypotesen att ökad kunskap kan leda till lägre energianvändning genom att ett mer energieffektivt beteende anammas tack vare informationskampanjer och rådgivning som hushåll med olika livsstilar upplever relevanta och meningsfulla.

Studien har följande specifika delmål:

• Förstå kopplingen mellan beteende och energianvändning för grupper med olika kulturell och social bakgrund.

• Kartlägga och kvantifiera hur mycket energi som används i hushållen och hur denna är fördelad på olika ändamål (såsom varmvatten, uppvärmning, ventilation, belysning, matlagning, apparater etc.) samt hur energianvändningen varierar mellan de olika hushållen i studien och hur energianvändningen relaterar till olika livsstilar.

• Identifiera faktorer relaterade till energibeteende som kan användas för mer riktade informationskampanjer och energirådgivning som upplevs relevant och meningsfull bland hushåll med olika livsstilar.


För att kartlägga energianvändningen används dels tillgänglig statistik från fastighetsbolag dels beteendestudier av de boende. Komplexiteten när det gäller variationen i de boendes bakgrund gör att såväl kvantitativa som kvalitativa metoder kommer att behöva användas. Enkäter kan användas i större utsträckning i områden med hög läskunnighet och goda språkkunskaper i svenska, medan i områden med mer bristfälliga kunskaper i svenska ligger fokus på intervjuer (med hjälp av tolkar) som kompletteras med beteendestudier när det gäller energianvändning i hushållen. Studien begränsas till hyresrätter i flerbostadshus i Malmö och hur energianvändningen i dessa är relaterade till beteende. Härvid studeras uppvärmning, varmvatten samt hushållsel inkl. el till belysning, matlagning, vitvaror och övriga hushållsapparater. Projektgruppen är tvärvetenskaplig och består av forskare vid avdelningarna Boende och bostadsutveckling, Miljöpsykologi och Energi- och byggnadsdesign vid institutionen för Arkitektur och byggd miljö, LTH. Projektet kommer att genomföras i nära samarbete med en referensgrupp bestående av representanter för bostadsbolag, fastighetsförvaltare och hyresgäster.


Studien inleds med en orientering i kvantitativa och kvalitativa forskningsmetoder både vad det gäller tekniska och beteendevetenskapliga traditioner genom doktorandkurser och litteraturstudier. På basis av orienteringen utvecklas en metod som testas i en pilotstudie som genomförs i Malmö. Efter analyser av resultaten från pilotstudien planeras och genomförs den huvudsakliga fältstudien som förväntas innefatta enkätstudier, djupintervjuer samt mätning av energiförbrukning. Analyser av resultaten av de olika komponenterna i fältstudien, tillsammans med tillgänglig statistik, utgör huvuddelen av data för studien. Resultaten av analysen i olika stadier av studien presenteras i vetenskapliga artiklar som tillsammans med en kappa utgör licentiatavhandlingen.


Green Roofs: Proposition of contribution to thermal performance of residential buildings in the South of Brazil

Lisandra Fachinello Krebs

Research Problem

An architectural production that aims to give a conscious response to contemporary environmental issues has two complementary challenges:

1. The rescue of passive project strategies to give response to different climatic and cultural contexts; and

2. The technical knowledge about constructive solutions that might have a good contribution to it, but not yet broadly employed in a specific context – like green roofs in Brazil.

According to the Brazilian Standard NBR 15.220-3 (ABNT, 2005), the South of Brazil itself has three different Climatic Zones, and present different challenges to architecture projects aiming to give a good climate response in a passive way.

The building envelope has a big impact on the thermal exchanges between the building internal and external environments. Previous international research about green roofs has demonstrated their potential of contribution to the inertia of the roof, which is a good effect on reducing those thermal exchanges.

In Brazil, green roofs are gaining space on architectural projects, recently. The Modernist concept of the fifth facade, together with the search for a bigger sustainability in projects, have been increasing the interest for this roofing constructive solution in the country. At the academic level, green roofs also have been gaining interest: recent researches investigate its contribution to reducing the floating on cities, possible contribution for the reduction of island effect and even the potential for food production, among other subjects.

There is, however, a lack of knowledge on the field about the thermal performance of green roofs in different Brazilian climates, and studies quantifying this are quite inexpressive, yet.

This research integrates the applicant Ph.D. Thesis in progress in Brazil. Additionally, it comes to give continuity to a previous research initiated in 2004, when studies about the subject were made – resulting in the Master Thesis of the applicant and the publication of papers and presentations in academic events.

Research aim and Questions

The research has the main objective of proposing green roofs projects with the better thermal response for social housing projects in the South of Brazil.

For that aim, the response of different green roof projects must be assessed with changes in compositions regarding species, soil depth, and slope, for instance.

It is also important to choose and validate software to model the green roofs studied and assess data regarding their thermal results, for both indoors and outdoors environments.

The research wants to answer the following questions:

1. What is, quantitatively, the contribution of extensive green roofs to the outdoor thermal comfort?

2. The same question applies to indoor thermal comfort.

3. Which indexes of thermal assessment better apply for those evaluations, at the Brazilian context?

4. Is there a difference in performance regarding summer and winter seasons? And, if so, which are the best compositions that could have a good thermal performance at the entire year in the three Climatic Zones of the South of Brazil?

5. What is the influence of external features – like shadows of buildings or trees – on the green roofs thermal performance at the indoor level?


The research method will use computational simulation as the instrument of data collection. To evaluate the contributions of green roofs to the neighborhood level, the software ENVI-met will be employed. To building a dwelling model and quantify its energetic consumption, the software SketchUp and the software EnergyPlus will be used, with the plugin Legacy OpenStudio. The extreme situations of cold and heat in the South of Brazil Climatic Zone 2 will be analyzed to establish the requirements for the optimal performance of green roofs, integrating a constructive envelope suitable for each climatic context in this region.

Expected Results

Through the interaction with experienced researchers, this study foresees as mainly results from a knowledge upgrade regarding green roofs and its contribution to the thermal comfort individually (of the building) and urban (measurable contributions for the immediate environment), responding positively to climate requirements.

With this knowledge, the research aims to qualify the use of that constructive solution in South Brazilian architectural projects in general and, particularly, at those integrating public policy for social housing.


Informal settlements and sustainable urban planning for developing countries

Maria Isabel Rasmussen


Urbanization has been very strong since the middle of 1900s and from 2007, 50% of the population in the world became urban. Today almost one third of this urban population, around 1 billion, are living in areas classified as slum areas with substandard housing and lack of land rights. In some cases more than 50% of the growth of cities in developing countries has been implemented by the informal sector.

Slum areas often give a chaotic impression and may seem to have arisen completely unplanned. However, evidence suggests that the formation of many slum areas, in fact, is the result of organized and planned process characterized by precision and discipline.

The formal and informal settlements have a parallel coexistence without interacting, and goverments and informal planners rarely know each other's work. The knowledge gained by this study, could guide a sustainable urban development for developing countries.

Purpose and questions

The overall study aims to investigate:

• How does the process of informal settlement planning work and what are the consequences for land use.

More specificall y the research will try to answer:

• How is informal settlement development carried out in terms of selection of appropriate land, land subdivision, housing development and provision of infrastructure and services in the informal settlements?

• How are the physical characteristics and life quality of the human settlement?

• How is the community organized with regard to decision making at settlement level and how is this reflected in the physical planning?


The study is based largely on field studies in the infonnal  settlements in 2 developing cities: Guayaquil and Dares Salaam. A combination of quantitative and qualitative methods will be used.

Urban planning, community organization and land use will be studied by observations, questionnaires and limited number of semi structured interviews with key persons such as residents of informal settlements, land dealers, community leaders, municipal planners, researchers and other professionals involved.

These areas will be documented through photography, measurements and geographic information systems in order to establish morphological maps.

An analysis and literature review will be done parallel to field studies.


Urban Fabric and Outdoor Thermal Comfort in Warm Humid Climate: The Case of Dar es Salaam’s Informal Settlements

Modest Maurus Baruti

Research Problem

Informal settlements are facing challenges of increasingly thermal discomfort condition due to urban warming. Rose et al, (2011) noted that in developing countries, outdoor discomfort conditions affect largely the urban poor who spend much of their time outdoors. Also, it is established that informal urban fabric characterize 40% to 50% of cities in developing countries and provides accommodation to 32%-85% of the population (Kombe, 2005). It can be postulated that lack of this control on the formation of urban fabric in informal settlements to great extent jeopardizes the thermal comfort of users.

In informal settlements social, economic and environmental challenges facing informal urban fabric areas have occupied research community for decades; however, thermal comfort issues have not been research agenda in these areas. This calls for research to investigate on the effect of informal urban fabric on outdoor microclimate and consequently outdoor thermal comfort. Also, this research need to explore people’s perception of outdoor thermal comfort; tacit knowledge on urbanites coping strategies with outdoor thermal conditions;   and micrometeorological thermal comfort limits in this context. This study can result into generation of knowledge on the link between informal urban fabric and outdoor thermal comfort in warm-humid city of Dar es Salaam which is the typical example of cities in developing countries.

Research aim and Questions

The main objective of this research is to explore relationship between urban fabric and outdoor thermal comfort in informal settlements and its influence on the ways which urbanite’s cope with thermal discomfort as well urbanites perceptions on the same.

a)     How does informal urban fabric in hot humid climate affect outdoor microclimate?

b)     What is urbanites perception of outdoor thermal comfort in informal settlements of warm humid climates? Is there coping strategies?

c)      What is urbanites sensation and preference of outdoor microclimate in informal settlements of warm humid climates? Is there coping strategies?

d)     Which measures can influence outdoor thermal comfort in informal urban fabric?


a) Physical Measurements

Physical measurements of physical quantities of thermal comfort; air temperature, mean radiant temperature, air velocity, and relative humidity in two sites with different micro-climates  have been conducted. Sites selection have considered H/W ratio of streets canyons, orientation, surface materials properties vegetation but they differ in proximity to the coast.

b) Structured Interviews and Questionnaires

This will be used to get peoples’ perception of outdoors thermal comfort in informal urban areas in selected sites were measurements are taken. Correlation between people’s perception of outdoor thermal comfort and physical measurements of Physiological Equivalent Temperature (PET) will be done.

c) Simulations

Selected section of the urban fabric will be simulated to learn the influence of various urban design options on the outdoor thermal comfort. Later on, the same urban fabric section will be used to develop different models to test different urban design options and how they perform in terms of outdoor thermal comfort.

Expected Results

This research will inform urban designers on the design factors and considerations on the improvement of informal urban fabric for better outdoor thermal comfort and contribute on the climate-sensitive urban design.


Understanding the transformation of the residents living in large scale housing areas in Hanoi. A residential satisfaction approach – The Case of Hanoi (Vietnam)

Tuan Anh Chu


The Vietnamese strategic housing development to 2020 and a vision towards 2030 is committed to sustainability and calls for a set of policies to support sustainable housing. Although it is recognized that sustainable housing policies in isolation will not overcome the urban problems that we face, it is suggested that without such policies, there is no hope at all to find a solution. The urban population in Vietnam barely reaches 30%, leaving a great deal of room for future development.


This study aims to investigate how a better understanding of the needs and desires of the residents can help improve housing policy.

The significance and application of this research does not lie in advanced technologies or multi-billion dollar overhaul projects but in creating solutions for financial feasibility and support for a participatory approach rooted in the very people that inhabit residences. Housing, after all, is supposed to meet human’s needs for shelter and therefore, inducing changes in housing practices through habitants is a sustainable practice itself.

The study will collect data from residents about their needs and desires. Based on an analysis of this data, I hope to come up with recommendations for improvements housing policy.

Research questions 

In order to achieve the aim of the study, the following questions should be answered:

-What are the needs, desires and adaptation of the residents living in large scale housing areas in Hanoi?

-What housing policies can respond to those needs and desires?


This research is of exploratory nature and therefore will use qualitative method to answer the how and why questions.

-This will be done by studying one selected residential area in Hanoi.

-The study intends to use multiple data and evidence-gathering techniques including: case study analysis, one-on-one interviews with policy makers, experts and community leaders, survey and observations of current residents.

-Data will be collected and analyzed in two phases such that the first phase will serve as inputs to refine and define the focused matters in the second phase.

-An analysis and literature review will prepare for field studies.

Expected results of the research

-Better understanding about the needs, desires and adaptation of the residents living in large scale housing areas in Hanoi during the last 20 years.

-The sustainable benefit to urban housing development through housing policies in Hanoi is expected, and similar approach can be taken to bring about similar results in other urban areas.



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