RE-DWELL researchers will participate in the ENHR conference in Barcelona (31/8 - 2/9/22)
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RE-DWELL Roundtable #4: How can community participation in the provision of affordable and sustainable housing be guided?

Posted on 28-07-2022

This roundtable took place in the Universitat Politècnica de València, during the Valencia Summer School, on 14 July 2022. The panel members were: • Anne Kockelkorn, Assistant Professor of Dwelling in the Department of Architecture, TU Delft.  • Blanca Pedrola, architect, Associate Professor, CEU Cardenal Herrera University. • Isabel González, architect, Fent Estudi Cooperative.   The discussion was moderated by: • Nadia Charalambous, Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, UCY.
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Valencia

Posted on 11-07-2022

Summer School 2: Inclusive co-design and community planning of affordable and sustainable housing
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RE-DWELL ISHF Helsinki Workshop

Posted on 22-06-2022

The workshop took place in the lobby of Helsinki City Hall on 14 June 2022. Around 30 people participated in the workshop, together with 7 ESRs and 7 supervisors and secondment representatives.  The aim of the workshop was to apply a holistic approach to the provision of affordable and sustainable housing, through a use case: A municipality has a piece of land in a working class neighbourhood that is to be developed through a sustainable master plan including affordable housing.  During the three-hour session, participants, organised in four teams, developed a step-by-step strategy that takes into account the interrelationships between the three themes that make up the RE-DWELL research framework: design, planning and construction; community participation, and policy and financing. For each theme, participants were given a brief explanation of the most relevant issues, methods and tools, summarised in a 'wheel'. Each team then had 30 minutes to discuss how those could be applied to the use case, and present the results to the rest of the participants.  This methodology enabled us to put into practice for the first time the transdisciplinary approach that we aim to develop in RE-DWELL.     This is the video recording of the introductory session.

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RE-DWELL Roundtable #4

Published on 08-07-2022

As part of the Valencia summer school, on Thursday 14, from 9:30 to 11:30 (CET) we will have a roundtable to discuss how can community participation in the provision of affordable and sustainable housing be guided. The guest speakers are: • Anne Kockelkorn (online), Associate Professor of Architecture, Co-director of the Master of Advanced Studies in History and Theory of Architecture, ETH Zurich. • Blanca Pedrola, architect, Associate Professor, CEU Cardenal Herrera University. • Isabel González, architect, Fent Estudi Cooperative. You are invited to join us at this session.  
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Housing co-creation for tomorrow’s cities. Deadline for abstracts extended.

Published on 22-06-2022

Housing co-creation for tomorrow’s cities Grenoble, 8-10 December, 2022 Deadline to receive abstracts for the RE-DWELL Grenoble Conference is extended until 24 June 2022 You can submit the 500-word abstract via https://re-dwell2022.sciencesconf.org The objective of this first RE-DWELL conference is to create a discussion platform for the multiple actors involved in housing policy, planning, design and construction. We are particularly interested in the ways such interrelations challenge the established conceptions and professional practices in the field of housing in European cities. The conference will include presentations of scientific papers, keynote speeches, an open roundtable discussion with local housing stakeholders, as well as site visits. This event is part of the agenda of Grenoble European Green Capital 2022, and its December theme “Living in tomorrow’s cities” / “Habiter les villes de demain”. More information: https://www.re-dwell.eu/activities/conferences/grenoble
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RE-DWELL will be present at the International Social Housing Festival, Helsinki

Published on 03-05-2022

RE-DWELL will be present at the International  Social Housing Festival, Helsinki   https://socialhousingfestival.eu/   with a workshop and exhibition on Tuesday June 14 at 10:30–13:30 Workshop   https://socialhousingfestival.eu/events/festival-program/?event_id=1172   Programme This session, led by the Marie Curie RE-DWELL Innovative Training Network, will take the format of an interactive research workshop with the aim of developing a roadmap to address the urgent issues at stake in the delivery of affordable and sustainable housing across Europe: the priorities, the short and long-term strategies, and the envisaged scenarios. The discussion will be supported with an exhibition showing the 15 ongoing projects by the early stage PhD researchers who are working closely with partner organisations (industry, housing associations, administrations) across Europe.   The workshop will begin with an introduction to RE-DWELL’s holistic, transdisciplinary approach to affordable and sustainable housing. Participants in this session will be organized in  break out groups each with a particular theme relating to the ongoing research projects. Here participants will discuss dimensions of the problem in small groups, each led by early stage researcher, supported by the academic supervisors. The break out groups will provide an opportunity to learn about cutting edge housing research, to contribute to the development of the ESR projects and to interact with colleagues across Europe.   The group discussions will lead to a plenary session in which a series of policy recommendations will be formulated. These will be assembled into a manifesto for affordable and sustainable housing which will be disseminated after the festival in the RE-DWELL media channels.    The aim of the workshop is to foster knowledge exchange between researchers, practitioners and policy makers involved in affordable and sustainable housing provision.   Registration Sign-up for this event with the festival registration form (limited to 60 places)  https://socialhousingfestival.eu/registration/  
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The wave of participation: bottom-up and top-down

Posted on 28-07-2022

Last month I had the chance to participate at the conference 'Nature for inclusive Urban Regeneration' organised by URBINAT in Milan. I was very pleased to present my working paper ‘Commoning (in) the Neighbourhood, Righting the City’ and discuss a definition of the Right to the City (R2C) through commoning and the role of the state in this discourse, looking at the case of Lisbon.   The first formulation of R2C dates back to 1960’s Henry Lefebvre (1996), but since then it has been a highly discussed topic and one of the main ideas reclaimed by emancipatory practices and practitioners, including the urban commoners. So, while the definition of the R2C through bottom-up commoning activities in the neighbourhoods clearly entails representations of collective struggles of communities to reclaim the urban value (Borch & Kornberger, 2015), there is a debate among theorists on the role of the state in these negotiations. In other words, the question that emerges is: Can the R2C and commoning be seen in terms of existing state and market principals? Possibly oversimplifying Huron’s (2018) analysis of two antithetical positions by anticapitalists on the one hand and institutionalists on the other, the response would be ‘no’ and ‘yes’ respectively.   Yet, exploring what lies between binary responses, I would argue, can also reveal radical alternatives. This consideration arose in my research explorations already since our RE-DWELL very first training activity back in September 2021, namely the Lisbon Workshop. There, during a highly engaging open discussion on participatory processes among Early-Stage Researchers, supervisors and representatives from our non-academic partners, Miguel Brito from the Municipality of Lisbon illustrated the notions of bottom-up and top-down initiated participatory processes as a wave. I spent days reflecting on the strength of this expressive image. What does it offer to conceptualise top-down and bottom-up initiated participation, or in extrapolation other emancipatory practices, such as commoning and the R2C, as a wave and what does this meeting serve?   The urgency for this encounter relates to the transformation of knowledge from static, siloed and self-referential that contributes to the preservation of the existing power structures, to dynamic flow between grassroots informal urbanisation and top-down formal urbanisation that can produce new strategies in research and practice. In this way, as Melanie Dodd (2019) explains, in one direction we must consider the ways in which urban activism can transform institutional structures and produce new kinds of institutions; on the other direction, ways that institutional resources can reach disadvantaged sites and transform unhealthy norms ingraining creative intelligence in informal dynamics.   Arguably, these knowledge flows need to be curated until the two notions reach a balance, in which communities remain committed to practicing their R2C and formal urban planning allows for real synergies and transformations to emerge. Until then, a great challenge remains. How to facilitate such dialogues without abandoning one’s radical values or serving unintentionally co-optation agendas?     References   Borch, C., & Kornberger, M. (2015). Urban commons: Rethinking the city. Routledge.    Dodd, M. (2019). Spatial practices: Modes of action and engagement with the city. Taylor & Francis.   Huron, A. (2018). Carving Out the Commons: Tenant Organizing and Housing Cooperatives in Washington, D.C. 1 edn. Minneapolis: University Of Minnesota Press.   Lefebvre, H. (1996). The Right to the City. In E. Lebas, Elizabeth, Kofman (Ed.), Writings on Cities (Vol. 53, Issue 2, p. 260). Mass, USA Blackwell Publishers.

Author: A.Pappa (ESR13)

Conferences, Reflections, Workshops

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It's Pride Month! Let's talk about queering housing economics

Posted on 05-06-2022

It’s pride month and we queers get to celebrate our identity. That is, unless we are in one of the 71 countries that still criminalise homosexuality. In fact, in 11 of them not being straight can get you executed. But hey, you don’t need to go to Uganda to get killed for being gay, just going out with your friends can end up with you getting beaten to death as it happened to a 23-year-old last year in my home region. [1]   At least our cheesy teenager romcoms are better, just like Hearstopper on Netflix has proven to the whole world once again. That being said, I’m not here to (just) shame all the straight readers and celebrate queer culture alone. I have something to say about housing economics. Because economics is queer. This is not only because Keynes, the father of macroeconomics whose birthday is today, was a queer himself (and a Gemini) but because economic inequalities affect sexual minorities harder.  But enough about Keynes's hook-up list which proves that gay sex was already ubiquitous even before Grindr. [2]   I want to draw your attention to some facts. The charity AKT reports that as many as 24% of young (aged 16 to 25) homeless people in the UK are LGBT+. This is a more than worrisome figure given queers are less than 10% of the population. Abuse, poverty and exclusion are still the daily realities of many a queer youth. Please have a look at their latest report here. [3] [4] [5]   However, the discrimination of queer people is not only tangible in homelessness but permeates housing provision tout court. According to research by Freddie Mac, the government agency tasked with expanding the secondary market for mortgages in the US, LGBT ownership lags behind the general population. 49% of LGBT community members are likely to own a home, considerably lower than the current national rate (64.3).  Gays and lesbians are the most likely to own (52%) “while LGBT African-Americans (30 per cent) and LGBT Millennials (23 per cent) were the least likely to be homeowners.” [6]   Homeownership has come to occupy a central role in wealth building and welfare provision, particularly for the middle classes and those well-off. This is a direct result of a set of housing policies, including mortgage interest deduction and lack of capital gain tax, often enacted by governments across the political spectrum. Problematising the distributional impact of these policies on queer households is paramount to the reformulation of housing provision.   You can now go click on Keyne’s hook-up list, which together with his latest biography by Zachary D. Carter is not to be missed.    [1]https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jul/06/protests-spain-gay-man-samuel-luiz-beaten-death-galicia [2]https://www.theatlantic.com/daily-dish/archive/2008/01/keyness-jew-boy-quickie/220620/ [3]https://www.akt.org.uk/report [4]https://www.insidehousing.co.uk/insight/insight/lgbtq-homelessness-the-data-hole-that-undermines-services-74552 [5]https://www.insidehousing.co.uk/comment/comment/lgbtq-homeless-people-face-increased-risk-we-are-committed-to-helping-them-72562 [6]https://www.freddiemac.com/research/consumer-research/20181001-lgbt-homeownership [7]https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/563378/the-price-of-peace-by-zachary-d-carter/

Author: A.Fernandez (ESR12)

Reflections

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Novel approaches to participation in planning

Posted on 11-05-2022

During my recent secondment at the University of Reading, School of Architecture I was lucky enough to participate in the Urban Room, part of the Community Consultation for Quality of Life (CCQoL) research project in the UK.[i] The ongoing research project is taking place during the development of four pilot projects in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland and brings together community groups, academic researchers, industry partners and local authorities, with the aim of improving the process of community consultation (CC) in planning. In Reading, it was a great opportunity to see how the issues mentioned above were being tackled “on the ground” so to speak, where local community groups were given a real space to meet and discuss important local issues.   During my experience of the Urban Room, I found the process of mapping social value combined with face-to-face engagement particularly important tools placed in the hands of citizens as much as experts in understanding and enhancing social value when undertaking processes of community consultation. The co-design of maps emphasises how people can have their say in creating a resource of local knowledge aimed at revealing the hidden attributes that benefit communities. As the map began to be populated with responses, I noticed how people’s feelings, now spatially strewn across different parts of the city, became a process of learning about and connecting with each other. Concurrently, the opportunity for people to casually meet in physical space has proven that face-to-face encounter still is incredibly necessary.   Both processes have indicated how important it can be to have control and power to take decisions collectively, rather than individually, as other researchers have noted.[ii] In focus group discussions, it has been made clear by community representatives that in real community consultation processes the community needs to there from the beginning as much as possible, pointing to the need for transparency, and for taking the “peoples’ pace”, highlighting the need for patience. These observations come in a time of rapid technological innovation and adoption of digital mediums both in data collection, consultation, design and visualisation, related to planning decisions that influence the development of quality of life in housing and neighbourhoods.   Recently, public-private partnerships in the development of housing and neighbourhoods seem to be growing but the methods of participation in planning that focus on the needs and aspirations of communities are just beginning to be updated. The processes of collaborative decision-making by involving communities directly and from the early stages have become increasingly important in the built environment disciplines. Yet, physical, technocratic design concerns seem to be dominant and perhaps easier to evaluate than the accumulated complexity of interactions that make social value at the neighbourhood scale. The integration of a set of social participation- with design-oriented guidelines is necessary.   A growing interest is observed in Urban Living labs (ULLs) as a physical setting and a methodology, with more emphasis placed on real-life settings of experimentation and collaboration between different stakeholders. Collaborative knowledge production and citizen-driven innovation in urban sustainability transitions is often prioritised. ULLs focused on innovation in urban planning processes, are being defined by the term City Labs.[iii] The influential research currently underway on community engagement in Urban Rooms is an exciting and promising trajectory for innovation in participatory planning that shares aspects of the ULLs/City Labs by involving communities, built environment professionals and local councils in collaborative and interactive arrangements. Perhaps the ULLs/City Labs approach, as an extension of the Urban Room concept, presents the opportunity of placing more emphasis on experimentation, involving new tools and methods that enhance participation and lead to co-creation of social value at the neighbourhood level.           [i] https://ccqol.org [ii] https://qolf.medium.com/control-stress-pathways-and-rights-of-the-city-associates-workshop-4-c80dafc09681 [iii] Scholl, C., & Kemp, R. (2016). City labs as vehicles for innovation in urban planning processes. Urban Planning, 1(4), 89-102.

Author: A.Panagidis (ESR8)

Secondments

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Consortium

The combined knowledge provided by experts from the different fields and domains will contribute to create a transdisciplinary research framework in which early-stage career researchers (ESRs) will develop their individual projects on affordable and sustainable housing.

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9 European countries. Spain, France, UK, Croatia, Hungary, Cyprus, Netherlands, Portugal and Belgium.

10 higher-education institutions. The universities are represented by experts from several disciplines related to housing: architecture and planning, building and construction, sociology, economy, and law.

12 non-academic partner organisations. Partner organisations include construction companies, private and public developers, local administrations, research and advocacy groups, housing associations, social and international organizations.

RE-DWELL
in a nutshell

15 early-stage researchers investigate affordable and sustainable housing by intertwining design, planning and building, community participation and policy and financing.

a consortium of 22 organizations covering a range of academic disciplines and professional fields working on housing

a comprehensive training programme, with network specific courses complemented with training in the PhD programmes of the host universities

a blended learning environment to integrate onsite and online activities distributed across institutions

3 Workshops in Lisbon, Budapest and Zagreb; 3 Summer Schools in Nicosia, Valencia and Reading; and 2 international conferences in Grenoble and Barcelona

25 academic supervisors and co-supervisors supporting the individual research projects

a wide range of outreach activities to engage communities and professional organizations in the research and in the exploitation of research outputs