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DESIGNING A “VILLAGE” FOR SUBURBAN HOMELESS YOUTH IN CANADA

Abstract
By : Rae Bridgman

 
This case study presents findings from research-in-progress on the development of Peel Youth Village, a transitional housing project designed for homeless youth in a suburb of Toronto, Canada. The article focuses on a specific phase of project development--planning and design. The research is important for its focus on a newly emerging group of homeless that differs from those North American inner city groups which have held the attention of policy makers, activists and researchers. The article concentrates on several insights arising from focus groups with homeless youth and their effect on the design of the facility. Analyzed also is the impact of political processes, building codes and planning approval processes on the design of the facility. Recommendations for design interventions to address homeless young people’s needs are offered. The article highlights the value of youth participation in any project designed for their need, and the importance of documenting innovative projects’ development processes so that lessons can be shared with others.

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