A Study in Polish Housing Conditions : Methodology and Building Typology Characteristics
The attributes of the housing environment constitute an important part of the quality of living. Flats and houses, as other products, fulfill the complex needs of users, starting with the provision of shelter and a sense of safety, to satisfaction associated with the social context of occupancy and the perception of its aesthetic values. The housing environment, more than other functional aspects of architecture, shapes the structure of modern cities, and its high quality standards are reflected in the urban potential that promotes economic growth. The new paradigm of sustainable consumption, which is becoming widely popular all over the world, affects housing needs and modifies the housing preferences in Poland. Changes should be monitored in reference to current housing needs in Poland, to have a better view on new trends, as present-day housing conditions affect consumers' needs and preferences. Knowledge of the relations between the qualitative aspects of housing conditions and expectations should support architects, urban planners and local authorities in creating a functional and aesthetic housing environment endowed with the attributes attractive to occupants. The paper is focused on presenting certain aspects of the present-day housing conditions in Poland. Out of extensive research material resulting from empirical studies, issues that concern the types of settlements, occupancy period, form of ownership (flats or houses) and utilized space have been selected. The derived information enables the evaluation and interpretation of the quality of the housing environment and the occupants' aspirations. (original abstract)
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