Investigating the Impacts of Physical-Environmental Characteristics of Post-disaster Supportive Housing on female-Headed Households Life from the Perspective of Cognitive dissonance Theory, Case Study: Narges Complex, after the 2003 Bam Earthquake

Document Type : Research Paper


1 architecture and urban planning, shahid rajaee teacher training university, tehran.

2 Department of Disasters and Reconstruction Shahid Beheshti faculty of Architecture and urban planning

3 Assistant Professor at Shahid Rajaee Teacher Training University

4 reconstruction after disaster department, shahid beheshti university


Disaster-related stressful life events affect socio-psychological society’s functions and cause cognitive dissonance in different dimensions and life changes. Due to the impact of management and strategies for dealing with these consequences in different dimensions and environments and survivors' lives, the present study investigates the role of physical-environmental characteristics of supportive housing in dissonance reduction and traumatic experiences processes of vulnerable female-Headed Households after the 2003 Bam earthquake and homelessness. Over 15 years after living in the complex, despite the ownership, functional-physical, social, and economic problems, the resident’s tendency to live in this place, satisfaction with the conditions of the complex, and place attachment among families are extremely high. The nature of research is exploratory. Due to the nature of the research, the long time since the earthquake, and the purpose of the study to obtain the long-term effects of the disaster and the settlement type, in the process of research conducting, research-narrative and ethnographic approaches with participatory observation and living with eight families between 2016 and 2016 2018 was used to examine the experiences of homelessness from earthquake to residence in the complex; perceived individual and collective meanings; significant life events and spatial behaviors. The sampling method was purposive and voluntary. To enhancing the confidence, reliability and validity of the research qualitative findings, informal interviews with other residents during walking through the complex, interviews with community-based social workers and women's advocacy organizations were used as a way to enrich the traditional ethnographic method. Data were categorized and organized by content analysis method. Based on the findings, the experience of disasters and pre-settlement problems, necessitates living adaption in the complex, deciding to change attitudes toward life issues, livelihoods, individual and behavioral functions such as social isolation aimed at continuing to live in this complex eventually resulted lifestyle changes. Reasons for the necessity of compliance adaption and early decisions by women to live in supportive housing include lack of housing options, family and children care rationality, inadequate living conditions in emergency and temporary camps, lack of ownership, loss of family head, homelessness, repeated relocation, widespread destruction and disturbance in strength, privacy and security concepts. Changing the mentality of this community from concepts such as relationships and neighborhoods, living environment, mental security, territory and privacy, personal reclusion, psycho-spatial ownership, created the need for a safe and stable shelter to improve one's self-esteem and to respond to built motivations. Responsive and consistent physical-environmental characteristics with the aforementioned motivations, including financial and spiritual support; attention to privacy and territories in spatial layout and housing; revival of extended family life style; external homogeneity of units(justice); reassurrance and Mental security; Optimal lighting and landscaping; Welfare equipment and facilities; quality of life Improvement; Interaction with the green environment; Familiarity with architectural elements; Native compatibility; child-friendly places and climatic comfort. Due to the vital role of post-disaster supportive housing for vulnerable people, paying attention to the impacts and consequences of design and planning principles on lifestyle, user community needs, worldview, culture and custom of the disaster community is necessary.


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