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A lifestyle theories approach for affordable housing research in Saudi Arabia

Salama, Ashraf M (2006) A lifestyle theories approach for affordable housing research in Saudi Arabia. Emirates Journal for Engineering Research, 11 (1). pp. 67-76. ISSN 1022-9892

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The typical approach of affordable housing research views cost reduction as one single determinant. Other crucial factors such as lifestyles of the targeted populations, people satisfaction of their current houses and residential environments, and their aspirations and preferences in future houses are always oversimplified or superficially addressed. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to develop and present a comprehensive approach for investigating affordable housing in Saudi Arabia. The approach is based on a new paradigm of research: transdisciplinarity; a form of inquiry that crosses the boundaries of different disciplines. An argument\non the impact of trans-disciplinary thinking on understanding affordable housing is developed, then is placed within the perspective of how lifestyle theories and their underlying concepts including place attachment, appropriation, visual preferences, and people satisfaction, can be integrated into a comprehensive investigatory process. In turn, a framework of inquiry is developed while reflected on affordable housing knowledge types. An interpretation of the framework into a survey tool is conceptualized. The tool is introduced in the form of a questionnaire to be implemented in the context of Saudi Arabia. The testing of the questionnaire\nas a tool of inquiry reveals its validity, corroborates the value of integrating different knowledge types into affordable housing research, and accentuates the value of introducing lifestyle theories as a new form of knowledge necessary for future inquiry on affordable housing.