Civilization’s vantage point has shifted with advances in technology from an eye-level view of the horizon to a bird’s eye view from a plane, to a planet-wide view from space. This relatively new global view is now the cultural perspective and embraces the holistic view of the biosphere as a large, interconnected, complex habitat that is subject to ever increasing anthropogenic pressures. The newly realized global perspective and realizations of global scale man-made impacts has added the concept of sustainability to the architectural realm. Architectural design issues of sustainability are inherently multi-scale, interconnected, and complex; and can not be resolved with western reductionist science alone. The holistic perspective is a core component of the evolving analysis methodology for pursuing insights on the interactions and connectivity of sustainable design. This thesis will speculate on the future of sustainable urban housing as a nonlinear outcome resulting from the rebalance of culture, technology and economy interacting with choice in our society. Through time, the interactions of these changing major forces is converging on a new equilibrium point that, to some extent, can be moved by choice. The architecture of urban housing has a potential role to play in moving that rebalance point in the future towards sustainability. This thesis will attempt to put on stage a context for urban housing in Canadian society that is transitioning towards sustainability in 2020, the year of perfect vision.
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