Social behavior in the outdoor spaces of social housing. Case of the neighborhood of 500 housing units in the city of M’sila (Algeria)

Walid Arab, Hynda Boutabba


Since Algeria’s independence in 1962, Algerian towns have experienced strong population growth at a rate of over 3.2% and a considerable rural exodus causing a housing crisis. In order to quickly resolve this crisis, the state adopted the policy of industrialization of housing. During this period, social housing was the model best suited to the social, economic and political situation of the country. Consequently, during the mass production of social housing, a fundamental parameter was ignored: the quality of the living environment in the outdoor spaces of these social neighbourhoods. This has caused the emergence of multiple remarkable social behaviours. This article discusses the impact of outdoor spaces in one of the most important neighbourhoods of the city of M’sila with 500 collective social housing units on the socio-spatial behaviour of different categories of inhabit-ants. This research combined the techniques of direct observation, interviewing and the social use approach of Gehl. The results of the study will identify the impact of outdoor spaces on the behaviour of residents of social housing to be able to remedy in future urban development and architectural designs.

Key words: social housing, quality, behaviour, outdoor space, inhabitant

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