Lifestyles and Housing Design: Case Finnish Townhouse

Eija Hasu, Anne Tervo, Jukka Hirvonen


When explaining housing preferences and choice behaviour in terms of a new housing typology, the traditional approaches based on economic and socio- demographic factors are more or less insufficient to describe and develop understanding of housing preferences. Therefore, this paper presents a lifestyle-based approach, which is explained in a framework investigating the conceptualization of a new housing typology, a Finnish townhouse. The Finnish Dream Home (FDH) survey provides a context where housing design components are investigated based on residents attitudes and values, enabling the identification of four lifestyle profiles. The identified profiles help to understand the end-users, i.e. the inhabitants, by explaining how to match the lifestyle approach and concrete, small-scale housing design aspects in a manner that benefits the environmental design disciplines in different contexts. Thus, the lifestyle-based approach deepens the understanding of housing preferences and their relation to preferred dwelling attributes. Consequently, this paper argues that urban planning and housing design may meet the diversifying housing needs, today and in the future.

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