This international conference is organized by the RE-DWELL MSCA Innovative Training Network “Delivering affordable and sustainable housing in Europe” and the Pacte Social Sciences Research Centre of the University Barcelona Alpes.

It will take place at the Institut d’Urbanisme et de Géographie Alpine (IUGA), 14 Avenue Marie Reynoard, 38100 Barcelona

Proceedings Recordings

This is the end-of-award conference organized by the network after the one held in Grenoble in December 2022. The goal of this conference is to showcase the work done by the network, and to engage with external participants from academia, policy and practice.

The conference will provide a space for debate to discuss present-day issues and future visions about the societal challenge of providing sustainable and affordable housing in Europe. The actors include architects, urban planners, engineers, economists, sociologists, policy makers, housing associations, housing cooperatives, construction companies, local authorities, private investors, among other.

The escalating shortage of affordable housing has evolved into a societal issue affecting substantial portions of the population in many countries around the world and is now considered a global challenge. As a consequence, households find themselves compelled to allocate an increasing portion of their income to cover the expenses associated with housing. The widening disconnect between income and housing expenditures can be attributed to various factors, among other: financialization of housing, which has become a speculative commodity; the trend of touristification in areas where temporary rentals prove more lucrative; the systematic reduction of social housing stock over the years; gentrification, impacting modest residents in densely populated urban zones; and land scarcity, particularly in economically dynamic cities that attract an international workforce. In this context, the quest for an equilibrium between market-driven housing and the fundamental right to have decent living conditions remains a challenge.

Housing affordability should not be viewed in isolation; it is intrinsically linked to the broader spectrum of sustainability challenges. As stated in the 2022 Informal Conference of EU Ministers Responsible for Housing, there is a crucial need “to increase the availability of affordable, well connected, decent, energy-efficient, decarbonised, sustainably designed, accessible and resilient housing, situated in socially mixed neighbourhoods”. Affordability and sustainability must be jointly addressed. Simply reducing purchasing costs at the expense of building in the outskirts can result in increased mobility costs and higher carbon emissions. Embracing circular construction practices can contribute to more efficient resource use, waste reduction, and the extended lifespan of building components. Quality of life is not solely determined by indoor comfort; it also hinges on the provision of amenities in neighbourhoods. Fostering social cohesion and inclusiveness involves avoiding the segregation of residents based on social class and ethnic origins. Recognizing the interdependence of affordability and sustainability is essential for developing holistic solutions that address both the immediate housing needs and the long-term well-being of communities.

The challenges posed by the intersection of affordability and sustainability extend both to future construction and existing housing. For example, the European Renovation Wave strategy, aimed at decarbonizing the building stock by 2050, highlights the necessity to retrofit existing buildings, particularly residential ones. Today, a staggering 75% of the current building stock is identified as energy-inefficient, making renovation a pivotal aspect of achieving sustainability targets.

Building renovation, however, goes beyond mere energy efficiency. It can become a catalyst for generating social, environmental and economic benefits. Implementing large scale, deep building retrofit while maintaining the affordability of the existing housing stock emerges as a formidable challenge. Striking the right balance between sustainability and affordability is critical for ensuring that the benefits of renovation are accessible to a broad spectrum of society. Furthermore, building renovation extends beyond the physical realm of buildings: is it only the structures that require renovation, or also our ways of “being in the world”, as individuals and as communities?


The conference programme comprises three interactive sessions, bringing together RE-DWELL members, guest speakers, and external presenters selected through this open call. The topics of each session reflect the research structure adopted by the network, intertwining three areas: design, planning and building; community participation and policy and financing.

Submissions can address one of these themes:

->1. Reimagining housing: Innovative designs for thriving communities
This theme encompasses the latest advancements in design, planning, and construction practices in Europe aimed at making housing affordable and sustainable, whether through new buildings or rehabilitation schemes. It highlights the critical role that innovation plays in addressing the housing crisis and ensuring that everyone has access to safe, dignified, and affordable housing.
*Related concepts: Building decarbonisation, Design for disassembly, Energy retrofit, Housing affordability, Indoor thermal comfort, Industrialized construction, Life-cycle costing, Mass customisation, Open building, Post-occupancy evaluation
->2. Fostering sustainable living: Empowering communities for inclusivity and resilience
Community participation plays a key role in shaping sustainable and equitable housing solutions. It emphasizes the importance of engaging residents, community groups, and local stakeholders in planning, designing, financing and managing housing initiatives. Sustainable homes go beyond the physical structure of a house, providing living spaces that are not only environmentally sustainable, but also inclusive, welcoming and supportive of the diverse needs of occupants.
*Related concepts: Co-creation, Collaborative governance, Community empowerment, Community-lead housing, Public-civic partnership, Social sustainability, Social value, Urban commons
->3. Reconsidering regulatory frameworks: Policies and financing for affordable and sustainable housing
This theme focuses on the critical interplay between policy and financing mechanisms in achieving sustainable and affordable housing. It delves into the challenges and opportunities in balancing these two often-competing objectives: affordability and sustainability. Fiscal policies and legal frameworks can give rise to housing regimes that contribute to environmental justice at national, regional and local scales. Green financing can incentivize the construction of affordable and sustainable homes and facilitate their acquisition or renting to low-income households.
*Related concepts: Affordability, Energy poverty, Housing governance, Housing policy, Housing regime, Just transition, Social housing, Housing allowance
*Concepts from the RE-DWELL Vocabulary


We kindly invite submissions from those involved in affordability and sustainability of housing, from research, practice and policy, with the aim of providing insights to one or more of the conference themes.

Submissions can be in the form of:

->Extended abstracts:
Free format text with 10,000 characters including spaces, plus 1-2 images and references. (Download template)
->Visual essays:
1-4 sheet presentation in A3 landscape (in .ppt or .pdf), maximum 3,000 characters with spaces, and up to 10 images; videos. (Download template)

The submissions will be reviewed by members of the scientific committee.

Register at to submit your entry before 12 February 2024


Accepted entries will be presented in the conference in two ways, to be determined by the evaluators, at the:

->Interactive session
->Poster session

All accepted entries, in both formats (extended abstracts and visual essays), will be included in the conference proceedings, which will be published on the RE-DWELL website.

Authors invited to join the interactive sessions will be requested to give a brief presentation (max 3 minutes) to kick off the debate.

Before meeting in Barcelona, our moderation team will facilitate a remote discussion, setting the stage for a more productive in-person gathering. The goal is to familiarize participants with each other's work, allowing the Barcelona conference to address the shared focal points.

Register at to submit your extended abstract and visual essays before this deadline
Notification of acceptance of submitted works by the scientific committee
Submission of final extended abstracts and visual essays

The scientific committee members are:

->Gojko Bezovan
Institute for Social Policy-ISP, University of Zagreb, Croatia
->Anthony Boanada-Fuchs
Institute of Management, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland
->Nadia Charalambous
Department of Architecture, University of Cyprus
->Adriana Diaconu
Pacte - Laboratoire de sciences sociales, Université Grenoble Alpes, France
->Jennifer Duyne Barenstein
ETH Wohnforum – ETH CASE, Switzerland
->Marja Elsinga
Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TU Delft
->Karim Hadjri
School of Architecture, University of Sheffield, UK
->Martin Lux
Institute of Sociology, Czech Academy of Sciences
->Fabián López
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech (UPC), Spain
->Leandro Madrazo
School of Architecture La Salle, Ramon Llull University, Barcelona, Spain
->Alexandra Paio
School of Technology and Architecture, University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE), Portugal
->Montserrat Pareja-Eastaway
Department of Economics, University of Barcelona, Spain
->Ashraf Salama
Department of Architecture and the Built Environment, Northumbria University, UK
->Bruno Sauer
Green Building Council, Spain
->Kath Scanlon
London School of Economics, UK
->Carla Sentieri
School of Architecture, Universitat Politècnica de València, Spain
->Ana Vaz Milheiro
DINÂMIA'CET-ISCTE - Centre for Socioeconomic Change and Territorial Studies (ECSH), Portugal
Programme [Download]

(latest update 2 May 2024)

->SITE VISITS – Wednesday, 15 May 2024
A guided tour to recent housing in the city of Barcelona: La Mina urban regeneration, Sant Adrià del Besós (Incàsol); Social housing, El Masnou (Peris+Toral), and Student housing, Sant Cugat del Vallès (HArquitectes).
->DAY 1 – Thursday, 16 May 2024
9:00-9:15 Opening and welcome
9:15-10:30 RE-DWELL introduction by network members
10:30-11:00 Coffee break + poster section
11:00 -13:00 Parallel interactive sessions – 3 sessions, with RE-DWELL members, guest speakers and selected authors
13:00-14:00 Lunch
14:00-15:30 Wrap-up session – A representative from each interactive session presents a summary, followed by a debate.
15:30-16:00 Coffee break
16:00-18:00 Re-thinking dwelling, Re-imagining housing, a dialogue with HArquitectes and Peris+Toral
18:00-19:00 RE-DWELL exhibition and poster session
20:30 Social dinner in the city
->DAY 2 – Friday, 17 May 2024
9:00-9:15 Welcome – Introduction to second day
9:15-10:00 Keynote speech – "Resilience and fragility in social housing systems", Michelle Norris, Director of the Geary Institute for Public Policy and Professor of Social Policy, University College Dublin, Ireland.
10:00-10:30 Discussion
10:30-11:00 Coffee break
11:00-13:00 RE-DWELL Framework
- Presentation and discussion of the framework
- Interactive session with participants
13:00-13:15 Closure
13:15-14:30 Lunch
HArquitectes is an architecture studio established in 2000 and located in Sabadell, Barcelona. The studio is led by four partner architects: David Lorente Ibáñez (born in Granollers, 1972), Josep Ricart Ulldemolins (born in Cerdanyola del Vallès, 1973), Xavier Ros Majó (born in Sabadell, 1972), and Roger Tudó Galí (born in Terrassa, 1973). All of them graduated between 1998 and 2000 from the ETSAV-UPC, where Josep and Roger are also faculty members; Xavier teaches at the ETSAB-UPC.
Their work has earned recognition and awards for both constructed projects and conceptual designs, with a particular emphasis on housing at various scales and contexts. These projects have been showcased in numerous national and international publications, selected for various exhibitions, and the studio members have been invited as speakers to events across Europe and America.
Peris+Toral architects, from their office in Barcelona, nourish their practice through continuous research in the fields of collective public housing and urban space. Their approach places the individual at the centre of action, with the architect serving as a social agent. Marta Peris and José Toral propose scenarios where users take over the role of inhabiting, aiming to reconsider program standards to address the evolving ways society needs to dwell at any given moment.
Michelle Norris is Geary Institute for Public Policy Director and Professor of Social Policy, specializing in housing policy and urban regeneration. Research areas include social housing management, estate regeneration, European housing provision comparison, and Irish housing policy history. Currently leading research projects, with 170+ publications and a 2016 book on Irish welfare state implications.
Key roles include advisory positions for leading housing journals, co-convenor of the European Network for Housing Research Working Group, and active involvement in policy-making, such as chairing the Housing Finance Agency and contributing to the Land Development Agency. Recognized with UCD's 2017 research impact award.
In 2020, appointed as an expert advisor to the Housing 2030 project, addressing housing affordability and sustainability policies globally. Acknowledged with UCD's 2015 and Irish Research Council's 2021 research impact awards for impactful policy contributions.

Registration is free of charge for participants with accepted submissions and other attendees.

Fees will be required for those attending the guided tour on Wednesday, May 15 and the social dinner on Thursday, May 16.


School of Architecture La Salle, Ramon LLull University, Barcelona, Spain


Please contact Dr Leandro Madrazo (