TU Delft Plenary Meeting, Oct. 23-25, 2023: Advancing RE-DWELL's Affordable and Sustainable Housing Framework.
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RE-DWELL Workshop 3 (Zagreb)

Posted on 05-10-2023

The third and final workshop, organised by the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Law, Institute for Social Policy (UNIZG) was carried out during the third year of the project activities in Zagreb, from March 29 to 31, 2023.   The theme of the Zagreb workshop, “Policy and financing for affordable and sustainable housing”, was approached from a transdisciplinary perspective, focusing on urban renewal, social and rental housing, and social mix. The workshop programme fulfilled various objectives: to follow up on the development of the ESRs’ research by fostering networking between the individual research projects, to conduct training activities related to two structured courses (RMT3 and TS3), to continue with the collaborative research work (vocabulary and case studies library) and to engage local stakeholders in the networking actions (non-academic sectors, local administrations and civic organizations concerned with sustainable and affordable housing). Furthermore, activities focusing on production of transdisciplinary affordable and sustainable housing research framework took place, as laid down in WP4.   Two guest speakers, members of the RE-DWELL External Advisory Board, participated in the workshop. Montserrat Pareja-Eastaway from the University of Barcelona, gave a talk on the topic “Beyond the market: transforming the housing agenda in Europe”, and Ana Vaz Milheiro, from the ISCTE-Universty Institute of Lisbon, on “Portuguese residential strategies before the Carnation Revolution: designing affordable neighbourhoods”
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Exhibition at Valencia School of Architecture

Posted on 25-09-2023

The collective research work of the network is on display at  the School of Architecture, Universitat Politècnica de València, from September 22 to October 2, 2023. These panels were displayed before at the ISHF 2023 in Barcelona, and at the School of Architecture La Salle, Barcelona.   The panels in the original size (1m x 2m) are availalble in the section Materials.
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Exhibition at La Salle Campus Barcelona

Posted on 15-06-2023

The collective research work of the network is on display at La Salle Campus Barcelona, from June 15 to June 22, 2023. The panels had been displayed before at the ISHF 2023.    The panels in the original size (1m x 2m) are availalble in the section Materials.

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RE-DWELL at the "III Housing Innovation Conference", School of Architecture of Valencia

Published on 11-10-2023

On September 27, 2023, Leandro Madrazo took part in the "III Housing Innovation Conference" organized by the School of Architecture of Valencia with a talk titled "Research and Pedagogical Innovation: from Housing@21.eu to RE-DWELL." The presentation outlined a pedagogic research initiative that spanned two decades. This research journey, which encompassed projects such as Housing@21.eu, OIKODOMOS, OIKONET, and RE-DWELL, initially centered around the theme of housing and later expanded its focus to encompass the broader concept of dwelling. At the end of the session, there was a talk about how architecture practice and housing education are connected moderated by Carla Sentieri.    The session recording can be found at:  https://media.upv.es/#/portal/video/df675f30-68e4-11ee-9d35-674bea753d07  
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ESR Alex Fernández published a journal article with supervisor Gojko Bežovan in Critical Housing Analysis

Published on 14-07-2023

On June 16, ESR Alex Fernández, together with his supervisor, Prof. Gojko Bežovan, published the article “The Role of Mortgage Subsidies in the Croatian Economic Growth Strategy: A Political-Economy Approach to the SSK” in the journal Critical Housing Analysis. 
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RE-DWELL present in the ENHR annual conference

Published on 14-07-2023

RE-DWELL participated in the European Network Housing Research (ENHR) annual conference  “Urban Regeneration: Shines and Shadows”, which was held in Łódź, Poland, from June 28 to 30.     Zoe Tzika presented the paper “Understanding community participation in cooperative housing using the capabilities approach: The case of Catalonia” at a collaborative housing workshop organised by Prof. Henrik Gutzon Larsen, Prof. Darinka Czischke and Prof. Claire Carriou. Also, Prof. Gerard Van Bortel, RE-DWELL co-supervisor, presented the paper “Quadruple helix innovations in the provision of sustainable and affordable housing: the role of universities” at the social housing workshop.  More information: https://www.uni.lodz.pl/enhr2023 
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COP28: 'Trying to try' is simply not good enough

Posted on 01-12-2023

Over 28 years ago, the Conference of the Parties (COP) convened in Berlin, Germany, marking the commencement of an annual gathering that brings together global leaders, delegates, observers, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), industry representatives and members of indigenous peoples and local communities. The main purpose of these meetings is to assess the progress made in combating climate change and to negotiate the implementation of further measures.   Before we get into the details of this year's COP, it is important to take a brief look back at the last COPs. COP 25 in Madrid emphasised the resilience of the global climate process and the Paris Agreement despite setbacks. However, it also became clear that governments have not made sufficient commitments to combat and mitigate the consequences of climate change. At COP 26 in Glasgow, the Global Coal Phase-out Agreement was discussed, and the Global Methane Pledge was signed, with over 100 countries committing to a 30% reduction in methane emissions by 2030. At COP 27 in Sharm El Sheikh, it was agreed to set up a fund for loss and damage and to define the details for implementing the Santiago Network. In addition, food security was recognised as a critical issue for the first time.   "It's simply not good enough for us to be 'Trying to try'. […]Turn the badge around your necks into a badge of honour, and a life belt for the millions of people you are working for." Simon Stiell, UNFCCC Executive Secretary. Opening ceremony of COP28, 2023.   A few months ago, I was informed that I could attend this year's COP as an observer representing the University of Sheffield, so I take the opportunity to share what I have observed so far. COP28, hosted by the United Arab Emirates, began yesterday – 30 November 2023 – with a minute of silence to mourn the passing of Pete Betts, a British climate negotiator known as one of the architects of the Paris Agreement. And Saleemul Huq, a Bangladeshi-British scientist who was instrumental in tackling climate change and helping in setting up the Loss and Damage Fund. As at previous COPs, the Presidency's action plan focused on implementing the pillars of the Paris Agreement, which aim to accelerate the energy transition, improve climate finance, put nature, people, lives and livelihoods at the centre of climate action and underpin everything with full inclusiveness. Simon Stiell emphasised that while we are taking steps, these are more "baby steps", and the six-year window of opportunity is closing fast - the window of opportunity in which we will exhaust our planet's capacity to deal with our emissions. The window of opportunity in which we will break the 1.5-degree barrier. Jim Skea, Chair of the IPCC, on the other hand, explained that it is crucial to use science effectively to meet the challenges and to design climate action based on science, but without forgetting that science alone is no substitute for action.   The highlight of the first day was the operationalisation of the long-awaited Loss & Damage Fund, which aims to compensate vulnerable nations for the impacts of climate change. Numerous countries pledged financial resources to the fund, including the United Arab Emirates with USD 100 million, the United Kingdom with up to GBP 60 million, Japan with USD 10 million, the United States with USD 17.5 million for the new fund and a further USD 7 million for other loss and damage financial mechanisms. Finally, the European Union pledged 225 million euros, including the German contribution of 100 million US dollars.   Despite the initial positive momentum, the challenges of previous COPs remain. These include the lack of clear and ambitious targets, disparities in responsibility, and an absence of robust enforcement mechanisms. Overcoming these challenges will be crucial to ensure the future effectiveness of global climate efforts. Let us hope that this COP will be different and bring about real change, as we cannot afford to waste any more time.

Author: M.Alsaeed (ESR5)

Conferences, Reflections

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Do we truly need a framework?

Posted on 13-11-2023

Over the course of three days, the RE-DWELL network met again in Delft with the hope that this gathering would not be our last, as the RE-DWELL conference is set to take place in Barcelona on May 16-17, 2024. A heartfelt acknowledgement is extended to the TU-Delft team, particularly Marja Elsinga, Marietta Haffner, and Tijn Croon, for their remarkable efforts and impeccable organisation of such a workshop. The workshop was not marked as another academic meeting but also as a transdisciplinary meeting in which the ESRs, supervisors and representatives from partner organisations actively participated. The focal point of many debates, however, was the RE-DWELL framework and its structural components. This blog post, therefore, delves into the significance and applicability of frameworks in addressing challenges related to housing affordability and sustainability. What constitutes a framework and its function? The term "framework" embodies a broad concept that takes on varying meanings across different fields. From a linguistic perspective, it represents a system of rules, ideas, or beliefs used for planning or decision-making, akin to a supportive structure upon which decisions can be constructed. In the realm of architecture, a framework serves to establish common practices, a set of principles, and a detailed description of singular or multiple activities. These activities often revolve around addressing a design challenge, translating it into practical language, and utilising architectural elements to surmount the challenge. Notably, building standards, regulations, and policies can also be viewed as types of frameworks, as they share the overarching goal of establishing common practices and achieving specific outcomes. In contrast, within the realm of social science, a framework takes on a different connotation. It typically refers to a theoretical or conceptual structure that forms the bedrock for understanding and analysing complex social phenomena. This framework aids researchers in organising their thoughts, framing research questions, and interpreting findings. Social science frameworks manifest in various forms, often drawing from established theories or perspectives within the specific field under investigation. While this blog post merely scratches the surface of framework typologies, it is essential to recognise their diversity. Some noteworthy examples include the conceptual framework, which centres on the theoretical structure supporting the understanding of a research problem; the theoretical framework, comprising a set of concepts and propositions guiding research; and the programming framework, a pre-established set of rules and tools for building software applications. Deciphering the RE-DWELL Framework As of now, the precise nature of the RE-DWELL framework remains elusive. However, it can be asserted with confidence that it does not conform to a mere checklist, a tick-box approach, or resemble systems like BREEAM or LEED. Instead, the RE-DWELL framework operates with a simpler structure, aiming to unify language, create a common ground, and establish a transdisciplinary perspective on the interconnected fields of housing, sustainability, and affordability. Do we truly need a framework? In short, yes, absolutely, we need a framework. The absence of a formal and universal language that brings all stakeholders to the same table persists as a challenge rarely addressed. Establishing such a framework requires concerted efforts and collaboration among the ESRs, supervisors, and partners. Crucially, it necessitates dismantling the borders that each field has erected around its knowledge. This is with hopes of promoting simple and effective practices to achieve the desired affordable and sustainable housing in Europe. Finally, let us maintain optimism and look forward to meeting again in Barcelona!

Author: M.Alsaeed (ESR5)

Workshops, Reflections

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Financial viability, frameworks, prisons and mummified corpses

Posted on 06-11-2023

At INCASOL, I focused on the financial viability housing projects. Interestingly, these assessments are conducted by architects. I have deeply enjoyed working with architects that master valuation techniques, as well as intervening in architectural contests all of that while providing affordable housing. For all the criticism civil servants receive in Spain, INCASOL is efficiently run by truly dedicated professionals. This has changed my mind. Before, I used to think naively that architects’ main focus was building, buildings that is.   Talking about buildings, among the most fascinating buildings in Barcelona is La Modelo, an old prison with a panopticon. The panopticon is a fascinating design by philosopher Jeremy Bentham, conceived to observe prisoners without being observed. Funnily enough, Benthan’s mummified corpse is preserved at University College London.  If you’re interested in reading more, Surveir et Punir by Foucault is a classic. As I contemplated the panopticon, I couldn’t help but wonder: where else has the work of an architect been used to oppress? One is in fact not short of examples. For instance, Le Corbusier’s orthopaedic architecture intended to produce obedient citizens (I guess this kinda chimes with his connections to totalitarian regimes of all sign). Nowadays, most architectural delusion just stops at the glorification of outdated standards. Any first-year undergrad will make a model of whatever Aalto, Mies or Wright design they’ve recently encountered. They sometimes go even further and justify it by quoting an obscure philosopher. However, as some take this orthopaedic drive further, it becomes a demiurgic obsession. A project for the organisation of the universe. In Platonic philosophy, the demiurge is the artisan-god, charged with the task of ordering the world.   Nevertheless, there’s a particular point of encounter in the professional world between the architect and the economist. As much as it would not make justice to architects to reduce them to a modernist pipedream, maybe we shouldn’t reduce social sciences to small preset containers? Does research need an organising framework or should we throw out orthopaedics? Do frameworks necessarily constrain or can we use them to connect? Is Le Corbusier alive and well under the guise of holistic transdisciplinarity?

Author: A.Fernandez (ESR12)


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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.

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