Over the past three decades, the standard of living and social well-being in the Middle East have declined significantly; due to several factors, such as regional conflicts, inflation, economic stagnation, low wages, and migrations. The effects are measurable, shifting generations of the population into poverty without the ability to improve their livelihoods. The gaps in the social, economic inequalities between the different classes are increasing exponentially, which correlates to the increased number of individuals living below the poverty line. The findings of this study indicate an immense need to improve opportunities for affordable and sustainable housing which is essential and urgent due to the rapid and unprecedented declination in the social and economic standards in the Middle East. Several non-government organizations are creating initiatives to provide opportunities for low-income families’ by focusing on housing as the main element of social wellbeing from multidimensional and cross-sectoral perspectives. In response, this study incorporated a comparison study in the examination of how to improve wellbeing and social equity through the lens of the socio-cultural aspect of building communities through holistic approaches to sustainable development. This study incorporated qualitative and quantitative research methods to measure homeowners perceived improvement in their health, happiness, and wellbeing. Preliminary findings indicate, through financial mathematical models and cash-flow diagrams, significant improvement to livelihoods are achievable, as well as cost-benefits by comparing newly built green homes with traditional homes. Environmental benefits were also achieved. The preliminary results of this study indicate the potential for improved livelihood through direct and indirect benefits concerning social equity, health, and wellbeing. This can be achieved by building low-income homes using specific attainable and affordable green strategies with a potential to be replicated across the Middle East. The long-term significance of this study is the proposed strategies for building social equity for marginalized groups through the region.
|Original language||English (US)|
|State||Published - 2018|