Designed for All Ages

Multigenerational Housing as a Potential Housing Option in Flanders/Belgium

Authored by: Sebastiaan Gerards , Erik Nuyts , Jan Vanrie

The Routledge Handbook of Housing Policy and Planning

Print publication date:  July  2019
Online publication date:  July  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138188433
eBook ISBN: 9781315642338
Adobe ISBN:


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Various researchers have highlighted that Flanders/Belgium is in need of a more diversified range of housing options, especially for seniors. In this chapter, we focus on self-managed multigenerational dwellings. The main purpose of our chapter is to contribute to the understanding of attitudes toward multigenerational housing and to investigate challenges related to the design of these buildings. We build upon a design assignment given in the third year of the architecture bachelor’s program at Hasselt University in Flanders/Belgium. Forty-nine architecture students conducted structured interviews with 396 respondents about their attitudes about and perceptions of multigenerational housing. Each student used the insights gained from their interviews to redesign an existing single-family townhouse as a multigenerational dwelling. Analyzing the survey data, the authors found that nearly half of the respondents considered multigenerational housing as a future option. Next, the authors used regression analysis to investigate interviewee preferences for shared versus private spaces. Using these results, the authors discuss the challenges of creating shared versus private spaces within a building and conclude that it is feasible to convert a single-family townhouse to a multigenerational building that includes both shared and private spaces.

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