Residential Experience IndexSM

Residential Experience IndexSMFeatured Image

In our research, the Gensler Research Institute sought a better understanding of what elements drive positive living experiences. We also hoped to identify what residents would likely prefer and prioritize in the future—particularly among those in multifamily housing. To investigate these questions, we surveyed over 13,000 residents across nine diverse markets: Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Dallas, London, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Singapore. Our results point to a need for fresh perspectives on residential design and development, and to challenge norms and raise the bar for the residential experience. Centering the needs and desires of residents in our approach is crucial. Major decisions in many residential projects—from unit size and mix to amenity offerings and parking—too often rely upon anecdotal evidence, retrospective data, or a status quo approach. This focus on standard practices and predictability has resulted in a growing “sameness” of new residential development; and the lack of contextual and innovative solutions only spurs more resistance to new development by local communities. Our own data corroborates this, showing surprisingly consistent residential experiences across markets, despite variations in climate, culture, and development histories. To that end, this research seeks to put the residents’ point of view at the center of our data-driven approach to residential design and strategy, helping key stakeholders in the development and design process. Ultimately, our goal is to create housing that is more satisfactory, affordable, and supportive, and that allows for better engagement with residents’ neighbors and communities.