Boendetrivsel: verktyg och kunskap för utveckling av arkitektur med utgångspunkt i jämförelseteoretiska perspektiv och befolkningsstudier av äldre
Doktorsavhandling, 2001

The concept 'environmental well-being', its significance and content, is analysed. The environment in case is your home, house, dwelling and residential area and it includes physical, social and psychological meanings. The empirical background comprises two research projects completed earlier: the evaluation of the built garden city in Skogshöjden, Trollhättan, and the socio-medical intervention study of elderly persons in Göteborg (IVEG). The aim is to deepen our understanding of the concept and to make it easier to use in studies. The "environmental well-being" interpreted in the evaluation of the Garden City was connected with the discrepancy between the inhabitants' experience of "their housing" and "the housing of their contemporaries in Trollhättan". An explanation can be found if the theory of comparing pictures and quality is integrated with theory of social comparisons. Uniqueness, i.e. the subjectively meaningful and outstanding is of decisive importance. One hypothesis is that the uniqueness in people's constant comparisons establishes them, i.e. confirms their existence. In our thinking and our perceptions we look for similarities and differences and our attention is drawn to uniqueness, a "mechanism" and a drive that orientates us in the world. The concepts of uniqueness perception, uniqueness thinking and establish-ment are introduced as analytical tools for architecture, art, and so on. Starting from the basic material for the population study, the analysis concentrates on elderly people's "environmental well-being" related to: 70 years of age, housing assessment and ADL (Activities of Daily Living) at 76 years of age, and the differences between 70 and 76 years of age. The environment in this case is restricted to home and house. "Environmental well-being" is related to social and psychological factors, health status and the physical environ-ment. Different groups relate differently to the sense of well-being and are distinguished by, e.g. gender, civil status, type of housing, and if women have been working in the home or employed in some profession. The physical environment affects "the environmental well-being", and so do your professional identity as well as housing identity and cultural identity. A negative development as regards "the well-being" is seen in men and housewives between the age of 70 and 76, while there is a positive development among women who have had a job. At 70 years the latter were more "environmental well-being sensitive" than the housewives, but the reverse was true at 76 years. Housing assessment was a good key question to obtain the elderly's views on how well they felt about their home environment.

home and housing environment




establishment of existence

longitudinal population study of the elderly


uniqueness perception

social and feature comparison


Sylvia Sundberg

Chalmers, Sektionen för arkitektur





Doktorsavhandlingar vid Chalmers tekniska högskola. Ny serie: 1726

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