Video. Housing research conference

Keynote addresses from the European Network of Housing Researchers Conference, Edinburgh, June 2014

This plenary considers a shared understanding of how “home” contributes to individual life experience, and supports individual and collective wellbeing. It is chaired by Beverley Searle, Geography, University of Dundee and was organised to feed into this ‘Home not housing’ SUII Well-being project.

Irene Cieraad, Department of Architecture, Delft Technical University and Venessa May, University of Manchester, explore the dynamic relationship between the varied notions of home and wellbeing in a structured plenary session

Notions of wellbeing provided by the home have tended to be physically and economically determined, reflecting a dominant policy focus on improving housing quality and the way such construction work ties into the economy.

The concept of home however operates at broader levels depending on, life-stage, and individual needs. The home’s role in enhancing family life and relationships emphasises home as a place of sanctuary, intimacy and nurture.

Home is also critical to enhancing opportunities for children’s education and learning. The physical quality and social environment of home within its neighbourhood setting further contributes towards mental health. Understandings and perceptions of home constantly adapt and change. Yet the relationships between home and wellbeing are not adequately developed.