Thursday 26th 13.00 – 15.30 Track 1

Urban redevelopment:
New build, green and low-carbon gentrification in the transformed city?

13.00 – 13.25 New social infrastructures for diversity. May new social infrastructures in our cities support and nourish diversity?
Siv Helene Stangeland and Kristin Støren Wigum

This paper will share insights from a process and housing-model, Gaining by Sharing (GbS), and its first realized co-living project where the intention is to live with a smaller ecological/carbon footprint and gain life quality through community building and inspiring supporting architecture. Central questions are: how may basic aspects of social sustainability like diversity, learning, trust, self
organization and common meaning (Robert 2019) be supported by urban architecture and masterplanning? How do we build communities that can hold diversity, nourish it and behave as sound socio-ecological systems?

The paper leans on communication theory from trans- and multidisciplinary traditions related to Luhman and Maturana, as well as researchers connecting natural sciences, psychology, and sociology with practical approaches for sustainability in design and architecture. In Vindmøllebakken, the pioneer GbS co-living project, 40 units with 69 people share 500 m2 space owned together with an equal share. Each apartment is approximately 10-20 m2 smaller than
normal but fully equipped with bathroom and small kitchen. The inhabitants are between 2-78 years and with a wide range of professions and life situations. The housing is organized in three to five stories around a central shared community spaces and a courtyard.

Short on the learning
Participatory processes was a main approach in developing the housing concept, however, experienced as a challenge for the regulated, commercially driven housing entrepreneur. The importance of affordances (Gibson 1979) and agency on the individual, social and systemic level has proven to be a
decisive factor in establishing the self-organizing community. Diversity was in a pre-study found as a key for stable social communities, meaning self-organizing community where synergies and learning from each other has become their core values. However, the structure for diversity is essential, and the learning proves that trustworthiness among stakeholders and potential dwellers in the building process effects this establishing.

The embedded expectations of social nature in our city
Inhabitants in the pioneer project learn to appreciate what H. Maturana and P. Bunnell calls “consensual behavior” – meaning to be open and “let the other arise as a legitimate other through your
behaviour” (Maturana, Bunnell 1999). The relational dynamics are movements between emotions and behaviour, which again are influenced by the experience of relaxation and trust. The housing in the pioneer project provides embedded expectations (Tangen 2004, based on Luhman) in its physical structure for shared space and place, and the legal contracts have embedded expectations in its form for the organizational dimension of the housing.

Following this reasoning, this behaviour that is required for social sustainability, may be described as embodied knowledge and may be trained. This may change our feelings as well as ability to observe
and partake consciously in the communication of social systems here based on sharing everyday life and creation of “livingscape”. Space and place with embedded expectations for togetherness and trust.
The continuing of urban development for sustainable socio-ecological systems seems to require a deeper inclusion of all layers and stakeholders in the building and planning of the city, transforming the social nature in our cities.

Siv Helene Stangeland is a Norwegian architect and researcher based in Stavanger, Norway. Together with Reinhard Kropf, she founded the architect office Helen & Hard in 1996 which today has offices both in Stavanger and Oslo. She has taught and lectured widely about H&H research on holistic sustainable practices within co- housing and innovative timber structures. In 2017 she received a PhD at School of Architecture about the relational design practice of H&H.

Helen & Hard has received many awards for their work, including the Norwegian National Award for Building and Environmental Design for the Pulpit Rock Mountain Lodge and the Vennesla Library and Vindmøllebakken Co-living. They have exhibited internationally, including at the Venice Biennale, the Lisbon Biennale and Manifesta 7 and designed the Norway Pavilion at Expo Shanghai 2010. In 2012 they published a monography: “Helen & Hard Relational Design” at Hatje Cantz publishers. They were awarded RIBAs international fellowship in 2017. H&H have an extensive body of built work in timber, the last realized are the headquarter for the SR- bank, the Co-living project Vindmøllebakken, and the recently transformed office project Innoasis, all in Stavanger Norway.

Kristin Støren Wigum is a Norwegian industrial designer, specialized in design for sustainability and systemic design. She holds a PhD on this theme from the Norwegian University of science and technology, department of product design and program of industrial ecology (NTNU, 2004).

From 2005-2020 Wigum run her design office, Gaia Trondheim, Product and System Design for Sustainability. The firm was part of the network and knowledge exchange of Gaia Architects, five consultancy agencies in Norway/Scotland. The projects of Gaia Trondheim have either a strong social or ecological dimension of sustainability as the core value, however, a holistic approach combining these two are always pursued. Wigum was as Gaia Trondheim, part of the initiation of Gaining by Sharing and contributing with research on co-living housing as well as designing the practice of the participatory process in the pioneer project Vindmøllebakken co-living in Stavanger Norway, together with Helen & Hard.

In 2020 she was employed as associate professor at OsloMet, Department of product design. Here she is co-leader of the newly established research group Systemic Design and Sustainability, and teaching and researching in the described area.

13.25 – 13.50 European Green Buildings: a review through the Decolonial Environmental Justice lens
– Karen Waneska de Jesus

In recent years the urban ecological transition has been trying to respond to the current climate crises. This has influenced how cities in Europe are planned to be more sustainable, particularly to achieve green buildings. While a green shift is needed, environmental justice scholars have been criticizing the urban ecological transition from an environmental and socio-spatial perspective. Moreover, scholars from the Global South (Escobar, 1998, 2010; Leff, 2001, 2010; Carruthers, 2008; Sultana, 2022) have been calling attention to analyzing and confronting the colonial injustice behind the ecological transition, that continues to privilege the Global North under the cost of degradation, exploration, and violence in the Global South. In particular, Latin American scholars (Rodríguez and Inturias, 2018; Álvarez and Coolsaet, 2020) on environmental justice have offered a unique contribution focusing on decoloniality that is distinguished from other approaches worldwide.

This paper addresses this call from the South, by analyzing the findings of a qualitative literature review on the current European green building debate linking it with the Latin American perspective on decolonial environmental justice. de Jesus have selected 62 articles using keywords on Google Scholar and Scorpios related to both topics published between 2010 and 2023.

The result shows that academic analysis of European green buildings has focused mainly on the consequences of these constructions on the local environment where they were built. The critical literature mainly demonstrates that green buildings have failed to address the full pollution generated during the construction site. Followed by more recent studies that show the intensification of eco- and green gentrification (Dooling, 2009; Gould and Lewis, 2016; Cucca, 2019). However, both criticisms analyse the local context where the buildings are constructed, and little attention has been directed toward analysing the impact of European green building development in the Global South, where construction materials are extracted from.

The article concludes that the European green building debate must give more attention to coloniality in terms of planning policy and strategies to achieve a more sustainable and just urban transition that does not replicate colonial values.

Karen Waneska de Jesus is a PhD candidate at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences at the Department for Urban and Regional Planning. She holds a master’s degree from the University College London at the Bartlett Development Planning Unit and has ten years of work experience in building development, covering public, private and non-governmental sectors in Brazil, the UK, and Germany. Currently, she investigates green building policies and practices developed in Europe and their relationship with material extraction provided by Latin America, more especially the case of the construction industry in Norway and the use of raw materials coming from Brazil. Her main topics of interest are related to green colonialism, environmental and social justice, housing and urban planning.

Short break

14.00 – 14.25 Sustainable Housing as a Means of Improving the Lives of the Most Disadvantaged Classes
– Abigail Quesada Páez

The World Commission on Environment and Development defines sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.

Sustainable social housing represents an innovative and necessary approach to addressing the housing needs of the most vulnerable communities, while promoting the preservation of the environment and contributing to the creation of more resilient and equitable communities. In a world marked by accelerating organisational and environmental challenges, sustainable social housing emerges as a comprehensive response that seeks to merge concern for affordable access to housing with responsibility towards the planet and its inhabitants.

The importance and impact of sustainable social housing should be highlighted, as it has become a key solution to address housing crises, reduce the ecological footprint of urban communities and promote equal opportunities.

Sustainable social housing is a type of housing that aims to provide affordable housing for economically vulnerable individuals and families, while incorporating practices and features that promote environmental and social sustainability. This approach seeks to balance the need to provide affordable housing with the responsibility to reduce negative impacts on the environment and promote equity in access to decent housing.

This type of housing associates assertiveness and efficiency with a comprehensive construction process that considers appropriate environmental, social, cultural, economic and institutional practices. In particular, sustainable social housing benefits low-income populations, who could have access to comfortable housing with appropriate services. These allow the reduction of energy costs in these families, favoring that their limited economic resources can cover other needs. Therefore, building sustainable housing can be a key strategy to reduce quantitative and qualitative housing deficits, as well as contributing to poverty alleviation.

The characteristics of sustainable housing include:

  • Energy Efficiency
  • Use of sustainable materials:
  • Waste Management.
  • Water Use Efficiency.
  • Bioclimatic Design.
  • Occupant Health and Well-being.
  • Universal Accessibility.
  • Community Integration and Sustainable Mobility.

Sustainable housing seeks to create living spaces that are efficient, environmentally friendly and conducive to the health and well-being of their occupants. It is an approach that not only benefits the residents, but also the environment and the community as a whole.

This work aims to promote sustainable housing construction as a measure to help the poorest sectors of the population and especially vulnerable women.

Abigail Quesada Páez finished her law studies in 2000. Afterwards, she enrolled in the PhD course “Administrative Intervention in the Economic and Social Exchange”, while she was doing a Master in Local Law, at Granada University (Spain). During the academic year 2001/2002, she completed a master degree in Maritime Law at the prestigious University of Southampton (UK). In 2009, she completed her studies with the Consumer Law Expert. That year she was awarded with a predoctoral fellowship attached to the project of Excellence “Interdisciplinary Analysis of the Instruments of Protection and Promotion of Dependent Persons”.

In 2013 she read her thesis, obtaining the maximum qualification and with European mention. Subsequently she was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship to continue her research line. During these years she had the opportunity to join the Research Group on Private Property Law (Derecho Privado Patrimonial) and participate in different projects related to the scope of the law of dependent persons and consumer rights in electronic contracts and ADR. In 2022, she obtained a research project, of which she is principal investigator, on sustainable housing and how to implement it in Spain and especially in Andalusia.

14.25 – 14.50 Navigating Complexity: Toward Inclusive and Just Sustainable Urban Development
– Mattia Mansueto

In the intricate tapestry of contemporary urban environments, a symphony of challenges and prospects converge, embodying the intricate complexities that underpin sustainable urban development. This abstract delves into the intricate nexus of youth homelessness, housing disparities, social justice concerns, and the burgeoning environmental crisis within the framework of achieving sustainable urban development. The confluence of these issues necessitates a balanced approach that ensures inclusivity and justice while reconciling ecological imperatives.

Urban centers, as crucibles of diversity, lay bare the complex interplay of segregation and class disparities. This dialectic underscores the significance of fostering inclusive and equitable cities that cater to the needs of all citizens. Concurrently, cities serve as both sources and solutions to carbon emissions, making them pivot points for carbon reduction efforts. The fundamental challenge of sustainable urban development lies in harmonizing environmental preservation with societal inclusivity and justice.

In a European context, urban centers are increasingly confronted with “complex challenges that require intricate solutions.” This study demonstrates, through an innovative methodology, how various urban realities are tackling emergencies and devising long-term plans to address societal changes. Specifically, the focus is on the younger and more vulnerable segments of society. The aim is to provide solutions that counteract gentrification, and inequalities, and enable sustainable and inclusive urban development.

In navigating these intricate matters, innovative methodologies become paramount. Integrating online green methodologies alongside semi-structured interviews (n=23) offers a robust framework for comprehending the multifaceted urban landscape. Online green methodologies harness the digital realm to facilitate engagement and dialogue on sustainability, fostering inclusive participation. Meanwhile, semi-structured interviews delve into personal narratives, unraveling the intricate interplay between housing, social justice, environmental concerns, and programs such as Housing First for Youth (HF4Y).

In conclusion, contemporary urban landscapes serve as intricate tapestries of challenges and opportunities. The intricate interplay between youth homelessness, housing disparities, social justice imperatives, and environmental crisis necessitates innovative and balanced solutions. Sustainable urban development, while fraught with complexities, offers a unique avenue to amalgamate environmental ambitions with inclusivity and justice. Through innovative methodologies and data-driven insights, cities can lay the groundwork for a future where sustainability coexists synergistically with inclusivity and justice.

Mattia Mansueto is a PhD researcher at KU Leuven. He obtained his master’s degree in Innovation and research for social work at the University of Bolzano and his bachelor’s degree in social work at the University of Torino. He completed a pre- and post-graduation traineeship DCU (Ireland), experiences two semesters abroad in Tübingen and one semester in Ghent (Belgium), and did a two-month internship in Berlin.

His research project in MSC-Program ASTRA focuses on Sustainable housing solutions for social inclusion of young people in precariousness. The aim is to link the eco-social approach to current SW practices with homelessness and to analyse sustainable solutions to housing exclusion in Europe.

14.50 – 15.05 Summary and questions
– Celine Loades & Audun Ruud