Relations among neighbors are a key indicator of the strength of a local social community, contribute to social cohesion and are an important factor in achieving a higher level of social sustainability. On the other hand, the environment in which people live plays an important role in encouraging social contacts and developing relationships between people. In order to establish social interactions between neighbors within a multifamily apartment building (MFAB), it is necessary to provide adequate spaces for communication between residents. This was especially emphasized during the mobility restrictions caused by COVID-19, although this necessity is permanent. This paper analyzes the influence of the physical characteristics of common spaces in MFABs on the quality and intensity of contacts among residents of MFABs in the City of Niš, Serbia. In order to determine the current quality of these spaces as a physical framework for interactions among residents and to identify the wishes of users regarding interactions with neighbors in these spaces before and during COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, a survey was conducted. The analysis of the survey results and numerous examples of housing design led to (1) the formation of guidelines for future designs of MFABs and (2) recommendations for redefining the standards regulating the field of housing construction in the region, both applicable during the period of the pandemic and after it.
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