23 SEPT 2016 / The COLLECTIVE & The VACANT:
Enablers to social innovation in housing across Europe?
September 8, 2016
More than 11 millions empty homes were reported in Europe while more and more people live in inadequate housing or still homeless (4,1 million according to European union). Due to this paradox, “the vacant” is becoming a hub for collective place making. Across Europe we are witnessing the emergence of alternative housing schemes that seek to re-think ways of inhabiting cities and reactivate empty properties. This Study Day aims to compare organizational models and physical interventions that have been experimented in Europe to collectively reactivate vacant leftovers (buildings and common spaces). The aim is to showcase how these initiatives are reconfiguring living spaces at three different scales (housing, vicinity and neighborhood). The examples, for many experimental, are challenging economic models, traditional governance structures and mapping methods by involving new actors: the inhabitants.
Shared indoor and outdoor living spaces are also flourishing in many cities seeking a more sociable lifestyle. Nevertheless most of these productions are limited to wealthy or middle class people. Long-term engagement, high skills and economical resources are requested in the group to guarantee a successful operation. What are the economical, social benefits or key barriers of the collective re-development of unused or misused properties? How alternatives schemes, inciting social innovation and adaptability, can be addressed to produce an affordable and inclusive housing? And how users’ perspective can be an added value through the provided local knowledge and the reinvention of housing programs in order to meet contemporary living expectations of variant social profiles (single parents, elderly, migrants, stepfamilies, homeworkers, students)?
A group of European researchers and practitioners will gather to present case studies of contemporary living solutions, identifying key principle indicators and primary research questions related to redesigning shared living spaces for contemporary needs, in time of decaying properties, shrinking public subventions, moving frontiers between institutional and auto-organized initiatives, and changing living conditions.