Date of Award

1986

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Community Planning

First Advisor

Howard H. Foster, Jr.

Abstract

The concept for this study emanated from an enlightening experience I once had while touring several "governmentally - planned" residential developments in northeastern Greece as part of the University of Illinois Summer Program in Greece, 1984. This was my first introduction to the devastating effects of poor planning.

The Greek people in this part of the country have a close relationship with their land which is central to their way of life. The residential developments I witnessed were the antithesis of the residents' natural and rural nature which has been part of their culture for centuries.

The houses were large, concrete structures of three, four, and five stories which seemed to isolate the residents from the land as well as from each other. The land lots which fronted the buildings were conspicuously small and rectangular, intersected by cement sidewalks and pathways. In my wildest imagination, I could not conceive of these natural people adapting to such foreign structures. It seemed to me that absolutely no consideration was made of precisely who would be living in their buildings and what their needs and desires might be. Basic to my way of thinking, is the be lie f that designing for people and understanding their needs is the only sound approach to designing and planning residential environments.

In adopting Maslow's Model of Prepotent Needs as a way of understanding basic human needs, and applying this model in the consideration of design criteria, I feel I have touched upon the fundamental rudiments of man-environment relationships. The field of Man-Environment Studies, or Environmental Psychology, is a relatively new yet rapidly growing discipline which has received a great amount of support. There are still many unanswered questions; however, pertaining to the ways in which man and his environment interact. The present study is made in an attempt to creatively respond to some of these questions.

I would like to acknowledge my Research Committee, Dr. Howard H.Foster Jr., Dr.Irving Spaulding, and Dr. Farhad Atash for all their help and guidance in seeing me through this project. I am greatly indepted to Dr. Paul W. Dahlgren and the Office of Residential Life for giving me the time to complete this project and the support I needed. And finally, I would like to thank Mr. Christopher M. McGreavy and Ms. Louise A. Poirier for their unending encouragement which they generously gave from the beginning.

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