Healthy Homes in Chinese Urban Environments 


Goal of Workshop

To develop concepts for healthy urban homes that can help accelerate the leap towards environmentally sustainable urban housing in China. This requires us to develop solutions that provide for truly liveable cities, that are planned around people and their needs to develop a balanced society while reducing the environmental impact of such buildings.

  Areas to consider

Overview of current residential infrastructure in Shanghai.  This will give an idea of a developed city's make up and types of residential buildings.

 Liveable communities and socially mixed societies: environments for work, play, and life: Case studies of successes.

Sustainable impact: ways to lower impact in “healthy homes”

Micro to macro: how can we take these concepts and create impact in the market place

Materials: what is available to help us reduce environmental impact

Rules, regulations, safety standards: what is the government doing to support these goals

Ability to retrofit current infrastructure: Shanghai is a developed city and has requirements for “retrofitting” current infrastructure – how can these concepts be used to retrofit?

Start of Research, things to explore:

What does healthy homes mean to you and to urban Chinese residents?

Think about the concerns and issues specific to China. 
Here is a list of some that you might think about as you develop your research and thinking
  • Interior vs exterior air quality
  • Smaller more efficient living environments vs “your own palace”
  • Alternative Energies 
  • Sustainable materials 
  • Social interaction/social support
  • Water quality, efficiency
  • Waste/reduction/recycling
  • Logistics & distribution offs
  • Comfort vs money savings
  • Human labor vs machine labor vs man-machine labor (what’s appropriate when?)
  • Individual vs collective needs and benefits
  • Impact of scale vs individualism
  • Skilled labour vs cheap labour

Action item 1 : Problem mapping

Start to categorize your areas of interest for exploration that will help you conduct research.  It doesn't have to be the ones above, but be prepared to share what areas you intend to explore.  

This could take the form of a list or a mindmap - see David Kelly’s mindmap:

Action Item 2:  Stakeholder mapping
Use a relationship diagram or a table to explore the links between various stakeholders.  Do not forget to include your role (or you team’s role) as an actor in the system.

For an example, see Elidh Dickson’s stakeholder map:

What are the dynamics of these relationships? 
Note decision making status (passive, passive/influencer, active decision maker)

Perception and Drivers:
  • What is the perspective of each stakeholder? 
  • What are their wants and needs? 
  • What motivates them and how can we influence their decision making process?

Something to additional think about:
With your initial research, are you starting to form a hypothesis or hypotheses?  
How can you structure your research to test your assumptions?