The influence of housing typologies on livability and community resilience: a spatial analysis of Christchurch, New Zealand.

This research attempts to understand whether community resilience and perceived livability are influenced by housing typologies in Christchurch, New Zealand. Using recent resident surveys undertaken by the Christchurch City Council, two indexes were created to reflect livability and community resilience. Indicators used to create both indexes included (1) enjoyment living in neighbourhood (2) satisfaction with local facilities (3) safety walking and (4) safety using public transport, (5) sense of community (6) neighbour interactions, (7) home ownership and (8) civic engagement. Scores were attributed to 72 neighbourhoods across Christchurch –and each neighbourhood was classified in one of the following housing typologies; (1) earthquake damaged, (2) relatively undamaged, (3) medium density and (4) greenfield developments. Spatial analysis of index scores and housing classifications suggest housing typologies do influence resident’s perceived livability and community bonds to an extent. It was found that deprivation also had a considerable influence on these indexes as well as residential stability. These additional influences help explain why neighbourhoods within the same housing classification differ in their index scores. Based on these results, several recommendations have been made to the CCC in relation to future research, urban development strategies and suburb specific renewal projects. Of chief importance, medium density neighbourhoods and deprived neighbourhoods require conscious efforts to foster community resilience. Results indicate that community resilience might be more important than livability in having a positive influence on the lived experience of residents. While thoughtful design and planning are important, this research suggests geospatial research tools could enable better community engagement outcomes and planning outcomes, and this could be interwoven into proactive and inclusive planning approaches like placemaking.

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