Aalborg East - from an isolated vulnerable area to an inclusive community

0

Aalborg East - from an isolated vulnerable area to an inclusive community

Policies and regulations Local policies Land Building capacity Public-private initiatives Participatory processes
Urban Design Urban fabrics Liveability Inclusion Public-private initiative Participatory processes
Ownership and tenure Protection of social housing Public-private partnerships

Main objectives of the project

An isolated an deprived residential area in Denmark's fourth-largest city had, since its construction in the 1960s and 70s, experienced increasing decline and negative spiral. Now, Aalborg East is a mixed community, with a vivid atmosphere and centered on the well-being of its citizens. It has become a story of success in social housing policies in Europe.

Date

  • 2011: Construction
  • 2023: Ganador

Stakeholders

  • Promotor: Aalborg Municipality
  • Constructor: Himmerland Boligforening

Location

Continent: Europe
Country/Region: Denmark

Description

Aalborg East, originally established as a satellite city in the 1970s, faced significant challenges over the past years, characterized by deteriorating old buildings, primarily comprised of social housing, and a declining economy leading to escalating issues of unemployment and crime. Recognizing the urgent need for intervention, a comprehensive urban transformation initiative was launched, encompassing the renovation of over 2,000 affordable homes. This ambitious endeavor was guided by two fundamental principles: the promotion of a diverse community and the active engagement of local residents throughout the process. Thus, homes were renovated, new shops were added, private homes were built and several social initiatives were adopted. Residents sat at the table as urban planners, so no homes have been demolished, and no residents have been displaced.
The whole process has been vastly affected by tenant democracy. There were building committees consisting of tenants, and every major decision was made at attendant meetings. Strong and strategic partnerships with both the public and private sector were also central because a housing association cannot do it all by themselves. For example, construction fields have been sold to private investors to densify some areas with freestanding house blocks and to diversify the economy.
In conclusion, the renovations were completed by using a variety of building types, appealing to a wider residential composition. Moreover, new infraestructure was put in place to foster the new mixed community. For instance, a new health house was built where training courses are in place, which makes the area more visible for people who would not visit Aalborg East daily. It is fair to say that the Danish social housing provider Himmerland Boligforening went further than usual, leading the way in Europe on how to integrate social housing tenants in the strategic city development as well as making them active city planners. The results are astonishing. Now Aalborg East is an area of well-being with safe areas, no crime, and great economic growth.
In 2023, the project won the NEB awards in “Prioritising the places and people that need it the most”.

Parque Novo Santo Amaro V

0

Parque Novo Santo Amaro V

Mismatches Location Segregation Services Cultural suitability Diversity Vulnerable groups Climate change
Urban Design Modelos De Ciudad Urban fabrics Services and infrastructure Environments Quality Liveability Inclusion Equity
Promotion and production Public promotion Favelas/Slums
Ownership and tenure Ownership

Main objectives of the project

São Paulo's housing initiative in Santo Amaro stands as a testament to conscientious urban planning, prioritizing the needs of marginalized communities while preserving their social fabric. By strategically integrating social housing within existing settlements and leveraging environmental considerations, the project mitigated risks of displacement and fragmentation. Through thoughtful interventions like reclaiming green areas and improving water management, the initiative not only provided homes but also fostered a sense of belonging and sustainability within the community.

Date

  • 2012: Construction

Stakeholders

  • Promotor: City of São Paulo
  • Constructor: Mananciais Consortium
  • Architect: Vigliecca & Associados

Location

Continent: South America
Country/Region: Brazil, São Paulo

Description

This initiative took place within Santo Amaro, one of the informal settlements situated on the southern outskirts of São Paulo. Public transportation options within the neighborhood are limited, often resulting in a two-hour commute to downtown. Furthermore, essential infrastructure such as educational and recreational facilities is lacking, contributing to diminished productivity and prosperity within the community. Covering 13 acres, the intervention site lies within a special social interest area (ZEIS 1), also designated as an environmental protection area due to its proximity to the Guarapiranga reservoir.

Established in 2001, the ZEIS category encompasses four types of areas: slums requiring physical upgrades, slums situated in environmentally sensitive zones, undeveloped peripheral regions, and abandoned neighborhoods in the city center. The updated São Paulo master plan designates an additional 13 square miles as new ZEIS areas, aiming to foster social interest housing development while identifying areas with low population density and adequate access to public services.

Initiated by the municipal government of São Paulo and overseen by the Housing Department, the project's primary objective was to relocate 200 families living along the banks of the Guarapiranga reservoir, vulnerable to natural disasters. To prevent gentrification and internal displacements, the project was strategically developed within the existing community area, considering water and environmental management aspects.

Collaborating with the state government, the municipal administration facilitated the expropriation of homes belonging to the 200 families. During the construction phase of their new homes, these families were temporarily relocated to subsidized rentals nearby. Upon project completion, each family was allocated a residential unit. However, as the land is city-owned, families do not possess ownership rights to their apartments initially. Instead, they pay a monthly occupancy permit fee until the land titling process is finalized, enabling residents to purchase their homes with state subsidies.

The total project cost in 2009 amounted to approximately USD 6 million, with an average unit cost of around USD 30,000. Rather than imposing a new urban reality, the project focused on thoughtful interventions in the existing urban landscape, leveraging its inherent resources. A linear park, serving as the project's focal point, reclaimed green areas lost during informal settlement development. Community amenities, such as children's parks, skating rinks, soccer fields, and schools, were strategically integrated along the park, promoting resident engagement and neighborhood cohesion.

Prior to the project, children had to navigate a contaminated stream to reach school. As part of the intervention, the stream was diverted underground, and water mirrors were created to preserve residents' environmental connection. Today, the area sources water from various rehabilitated outlets.

Comprising buildings ranging from five to seven stories, the 200 residential units offer diverse layouts, including options for individuals with disabilities. The design prioritizes pedestrian-friendly features, accommodating non-residents who utilize the walkways.

The overarching goal of the project was to enhance living standards and foster prosperity within the vulnerable Santo Amaro community. By delivering formal housing infrastructure and comprehensive services, the project facilitates daily life for residents and cultivates a sense of belonging among families. Moreover, by relocating families susceptible to natural disasters, the project mitigated the risk of community displacement and fragmentation.

Furthermore, the project successfully integrated building design with the surrounding landscape, addressing structural challenges such as water management. Plentiful high-quality public spaces, accessible not only to residents but also to the broader neighborhood, were incorporated. Given the precarious conditions of informal communities in Latin America, social housing initiatives should be accompanied by comprehensive social programs, empowering communities to manage and care for their habitats while fostering development and ownership.

Bilbao-Bolueta regeneration

0

Bilbao-Bolueta regeneration

Mismatches Location Financing Functional adequacy Services Cultural suitability Diversity Climate change
Policies and regulations Local policies Land Building capacity Planning
Financing Public funding Land Based Finance
Promotion and production Public promotion Innovation Technology

Main objectives of the project

The urban regeneration initiative in Bolueta, spearheaded by VISESA and leveraging the natural landscape along the river, demonstrates a strategic approach to reclaiming degraded land for societal benefit. Through a blend of protected housing development and soil remediation, the project not only addresses housing needs but also fosters citizen engagement in decision-making, contributing to social cohesion and environmental sustainability. In fact, the social housing building is, today, the highest passivhouse in the world. Bolueta serves as a model for Bilbao's broader transformation strategy, exemplifying the city's shift from industrial decline to innovative urban development.

Date

  • 2018: Construction

Stakeholders

  • Constructor: Construcciones Sukia Eraikuntzak
  • Architect: German Velázquez
  • Promotor: VISESA

Location

Continent: Europe
City: Bilbao
Country/Region: Bilbao, Spain

Description

Bolueta, although well-connected to Bilbao, Spain, has long suffered from environmental degradation and neglect. The intervention in Bolueta represents a strategic urban regeneration effort aimed at reclaiming contaminated industrial land for the benefit of society. This operation combines the development of protected housing with soil remediation, presenting an opportunity to adapt existing residential and economic facilities while promoting citizen participation in decision-making.

The entity tasked with implementing and constructing the new public housing developments is VISESA, a public company under the Basque Government responsible for housing policy development. Established in 1992, VISESA has constructed 15,283 homes in the Basque Country, managing land and promoting sustainable social housing in line with Basque housing law. VISESA actively engages in urban renewal and housing rehabilitation to enhance accessibility and improve quality of life while promoting sustainable territorial development.

The solution proposes integrating Bolueta into Bilbao's urban, social, and environmental fabric, leveraging the river as a central element for natural landscape preservation and enhancement. The renovated space supports a social public housing program, with 608 out of 1100 homes designated as social public housing to address housing needs and contribute to social cohesion. The public housing project prioritizes energy efficiency, acoustic and thermal comfort, indoor air quality, and the use of natural and healthy building materials.

The primary positive impact on the community is the provision of 1100 new homes, including 608 social public housing units to address housing accessibility challenges. This development is the tallest passive house building in the world. The residential development has also created public spaces enriched with interconnected amenities, with 25,386.38m2 of pedestrian areas along the riverside promenade. The design improvements enhance accessibility, mobility, comfort, air quality, flood risk management, urban complexity, social cohesion, efficiency of urban services, green spaces, and biodiversity.

The social public housing units meet the Passive House quality standard, making them the highest certified buildings globally, recognized at the 22nd International Passive House Conference in 2018. The project's success has attracted national and international interest, with visits from delegations from countries such as India, Canada, and Colombia, as well as 800 professionals visiting nationally to learn from the Bolueta experience.

Bolueta exemplifies Bilbao's ongoing transformation. Once a city in decline in the 1980s, Bilbao's soil strategy has converted former industrial land into public space for top-tier services and social housing projects. Bilbao, rather than developing new costly developments is changing all the Nervion River bank to transform its city. With the surplus of transforming industrial land into new uses, they manage to invest in public housing or key infrastructure that the city need. This scheme has been worldwide recognized as a success.

Kampung Susun Produktif Tumbuh Cakung, Jakarta

0

Kampung Susun Produktif Tumbuh Cakung, Jakarta

Mismatches Location Security Functional adequacy Services Vulnerable groups Climate change
Policies and regulations Regulation Participatory processes
Urban Design Services and infrastructure Environments Quality Liveability Inclusion Equity Participatory processes
Ownership and tenure Shared ownership

Main objectives of the project

In response to Jakarta's sinking crisis, Bukit Duri residents faced eviction in 2016. Deemed illegal, this sparked a movement led by Ciliwung Merdeka, empowering residents to demand their rights. The result? Kampung Susun—a cooperative where former residents manage their space, integrating living and economic activities, defying traditional public housing norms, and fostering community resilience and cohesion.

Date

  • 2020: Construction

Stakeholders

  • Constructor: PT. Jaya Konstruksi Manggala Pratama Tbk.
  • Architect: STUDIO AKANOMA
  • Promotor: Jakarta City Hall
  • Promotor: Ciliwung Merdeka

Location

Continent: Asia
Country/Region: Indonesia, Jakarta

Description

Jakarta is confronted with a significant threat: the city is sinking, resulting in more frequent floods and substantial portions of the city being submerged. The most vulnerable communities are bearing the brunt of this issue. In 2016, seventy families in Bukit Duri, Jakarta, were forcibly removed from their homes as part of efforts to address the city’s chronic flooding problems. However, the eviction was subsequently deemed illegal. In 2017, the State Administrative Court ruled that the eviction lacked legal justification and that the residents were entitled to compensation. Volunteers from the organization Ciliwung Merdeka collaborated with the residents, spanning from children to adults, to empower the community through various programs aimed at fostering solidarity and self-reliance. These initiatives encompassed educational programs for children, public health education, waste management, economic empowerment, art and culture education, disaster response and mitigation, as well as spatial planning and architecture. Additionally, they collectively advocated for government recognition that impoverished citizens deserved adequate living conditions and demonstrated that viable alternatives to eviction existed.

One such alternative materialized in the form of the Kampung Susun new residence and cooperative, where residents themselves assume responsibility for the neighborhood's upkeep. Tenants are not required to pay rent but are obligated to contribute a maintenance fee to the cooperative, which also has the capacity to provide residents with business capital. The design process began with identifying spaces tailored to the economic development needs of former Kampung Bukit Duri residents, the majority of whom are engaged in the informal business sector and own small enterprises. The design concept emulates the urban settlement model, featuring small houses with dedicated economic spaces, giving rise to the term "kampung susun." Notably, Kampung Susun stands out from Jakarta's conventional public housing projects, known as rusunawa, which typically lack provisions for business activities. Each residential unit in Kampung Susun encompasses both living and economic spaces, with communal areas on the ground floor enabling residents to engage in commerce. Additionally, residents have the opportunity to expand their living quarters vertically, facilitated by a mezzanine level within each unit.

Measuring 36 m2 in total, with 21 m2 designated for private use and 15 m2 allocated for business or workspace, each residential unit is designed to accommodate growth. This innovative approach to urban settlement, known as Kampung Susun Produktif Tumbuh, or growing, productive stacked kampong, addresses the challenges of densely populated urban environments and the limitations of traditional housing construction. Beyond serving as mere dwellings, Kampung Susun fosters a sense of community where residents can engage in economic activities and foster friendly interactions, recognizing the distinct characteristics of urban settlement inhabitants compared to those residing in the outskirts of the city.

The case is undoubtedly a resilient solution to an unprecedented climate problem. Bottom-up and from the community, it solves a huge challenge of obtaining public housing in an adverse context, promoting the productive economy of its residents.

Family Housing Expansion Project (Minneapolis)

0

Family Housing Expansion Project (Minneapolis)

Mismatches Price Diversity Vulnerable groups
Policies and regulations Local policies Planning
Urban Design Environments Quality Liveability Inclusion
Promotion and production Public promotion

Main objectives of the project

In 2021, the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA) faced a substantial waitlist of more than 8,000 families seeking affordable housing. To meet the demand for two and three-bedroom units, MPHA launched the Family Housing Expansion Project. This initiative involves constructing 84 new deeply affordable housing units spread across residential neighborhoods in Minneapolis. The project capitalizes on the Minneapolis City Council's decision to eliminate single-family zoning, as outlined in the Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan. By replacing single-family or duplex homes, MPHA aims to bolster the supply of missing middle housing and affordable units, aligning with the goals of the Comprehensive Plan. The Family Housing Expansion Project utilizes modular construction techniques to build 16 small multifamily buildings. Each building comprises four to six two or three-bedroom units. Of these units, 64 are designated for households earning at or below 30 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), while the remaining 20 units cater to residents with incomes up to 60 percent of AMI, helping to mitigate displacement. Completion of the buildings is anticipated by late summer 2023.

Date

  • 2023: Construction

Stakeholders

  • Promotor: Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA)
  • Architect: DJR
  • Constructor: Frerichs Construction
  • Constructor: RISE Modular

Location

Continent: North America
Country/Region: Minneapolis [Saint Paul], United States of America

Description

Minneapolis has adopted a bold approach to realize its housing objectives under the Minneapolis 2040 plan, envisioning a city with increased affordability and density. An innovative measure taken involves the elimination of single-family zoning, creating opportunities for constructing new affordable housing in areas previously designated for single-family residences. However, the pressing need to address the lengthy waitlist for public or affordable housing prompted swift action. In response, the Family Housing Expansion Project was initiated.

The Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA) focused its strategy for this project on achieving efficiency and speed while adhering to stringent housing quality standards. To execute this strategy, MPHA collaborated with its procurement office to issue a two-part Request for Proposals (RFP) for both a project design team and a construction team.

Following the submission and evaluation of initial proposals, MPHA selected the three highest-ranking teams, encompassing both traditional and modular construction methods, to develop schematic designs and cost estimates. This process enabled a comparative analysis between modular and traditional construction methods, revealing that modular construction best aligned with the project's scattered-site approach and objectives.

Modular construction was projected to be 33 percent faster than traditional methods, minimizing disruptions for tenants. Additionally, it proved to be 13 to 22 percent less expensive and generated less waste. Given these advantages, MPHA chose a team comprising modular manufacturer RISE Modular, general contractor Frerichs Construction, and architecture and interior design firm DJR. Together, MPHA and its chosen team evaluated 22 potential sites throughout the city for new housing. Factors such as zoning constraints, parking availability, and suitability for modular construction were considered in selecting the most viable sites. Ultimately, 16 sites were chosen for the development of small apartment buildings featuring two or three-bedroom units.

Community engagement was a key aspect of the project, with MPHA actively involving neighborhood groups and residents in the design and construction processes. Meetings were held with residents impacted by the project, allowing them to provide feedback and select interior finishes for the units. Concerns raised by stakeholders, such as parking availability and the impact of construction on existing residents, were addressed by the project team. Measures were taken to maximize off-street parking and provide relocation benefits to temporarily displaced residents. Furthermore, existing tenants were assured the right to return to a new unit once completed.

Of the 84 units in the Family Housing Expansion Project, 16 will be accessible units, and 17 will cater to high-priority homelessness cases with services funded by Hennepin County. Long-term affordability will be ensured through project-based vouchers, with residents paying 30 percent of their incomes for the units.

The Arroyo, Santa Monica

0

The Arroyo, Santa Monica

Mismatches Location Functional adequacy Diversity Climate change
Policies and regulations Local policies Planning
Financing Financial actors
Urban Design Environments Quality Liveability
Promotion and production Private promotion

Main objectives of the project

Santa Monica's efforts to tackle its housing crisis and mitigate climate change converge in projects like the Arroyo. The city's commitment to affordable housing is evident in its mandate to create over a thousand new units annually, with a focus on affordability. The Arroyo exemplifies this mission, providing 64 units tailored to different income levels and incorporating sustainable design elements like photovoltaic cells and natural ventilation. Its recognition with prestigious awards like the 2020 LEED Homes award demonstrates its success in marrying affordability with environmental responsibility, serving as a model for future developments amidst California's dual challenges of housing and climate.

Date

  • 2019: Construction
  • 2020: Ganador

Stakeholders

  • Promotor: Community Corp.
  • Constructor: Benchmark Contractors
  • Architect: Koning Eizenberg Architecture
  • John Labib + Associates

Location

Continent: North America
Country/Region: Los Angeles, United States of America

Description

The affordable housing crisis in Santa Monica mirrors that of California as a whole, with over half of households spending more than 30 percent of their income on rent. The city also faces the daunting task of meeting the goals set in the 2021 regional housing needs allocation (RHNA): planning for an average of 1,109 new housing units annually for the next 8 years, with over two-thirds of them designated as affordable. This year's allocation represents a substantial increase compared to the previous RHNA cycle. To tackle this challenge, Santa Monica has implemented aggressive measures, including inclusionary housing (IH) regulations, to encourage the development of affordable housing units. Simultaneously, the city grapples with the climate crisis, experiencing higher average temperatures and prolonged droughts. In response, Santa Monica devised its 2019 Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, incorporating strategies to achieve carbon neutrality in buildings. Recent housing projects in the city, such as the 64-unit Arroyo developed by the Community Corporation of Santa Monica, epitomize this dual focus on sustainability and affordability.

The Arroyo, a five-story building featuring two parallel wings connected by bridges on each floor, boasts a central courtyard that follows the path of the former arroyo, now replaced by a stormwater drain. This courtyard extends into a basketball half-court and picnic area with covered activity space. Additionally, indoor spaces cater to residents' needs, providing a vibrant community atmosphere. Two community rooms host various free programs, including fitness classes, financial management courses, and computer training sessions. Tailored programs for younger residents, such as afterschool homework assistance and college readiness courses, further enrich the community experience.

The genesis of the Arroyo lies in the city's housing and planning regulations applied to 500 Broadway, a downtown development proposed by DK Broadway in 2013. Subject to city requirements mandating affordable units or contributions towards affordable housing elsewhere, DK Broadway opted to provide a site for affordable housing a few blocks away, subsequently transferred to the Community Corporation. The financial backing, including low-income housing tax credits and loans from Bank of America, facilitated the Arroyo's development without city or state funding.

Sustainable design features are integral to the Arroyo's ethos. Natural airflow facilitated by the courtyard, bridges, and open-air corridors promotes ventilation and cooling without increasing energy demand. Photovoltaic cells and solar water heating panels harness Southern California's abundant sunshine, while high-albedo roofs and window shades mitigate excessive sun exposure. Proximity to amenities and a Metro light rail station encourages car-free living, supported by onsite bicycle parking and electric vehicle chargers. These sustainable elements, coupled with affordability, earned the Arroyo recognition, including a 2020 LEED Homes award from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The Arroyo's accolades extend beyond sustainability, with awards such as the AIA National Housing Award (2021) and the Jorn Utzon Award (2020) underscoring its architectural and societal significance.

Cireres

0

Cireres

Mismatches Financing Functional adequacy Services Cultural suitability Diversity Climate change
Policies and regulations Local policies Land Public-private initiatives
Financing Financial actors
Urban Design Environments Quality Liveability
Promotion and production Public-private partnerships Participatory processes Self-management Self-promotion Cooperatives
Ownership and tenure Shared ownership Protection of social housing Land ownership

Main objectives of the project

Cireres is a housing project whose goal is to build a cooperative housing that avoids speculation and the market dynamics. Thanks to a leasing of public land, a group of people in search of affordable housing could form a community with sustainable and top-tier housing units.

Date

  • 2022: Ganador
  • 2022: Construction
  • 2017: En proceso

Stakeholders

  • Promotor: SostreCivic (Coopertaiva Cireres)
  • Promotor: Barcelona City Hall
  • Constructor: La Constructiva
  • Architect: CelObert
  • Matriu
  • Col·lectiu Ronda
  • Fiare
  • Arç

Location

Continent: Europe
City: Barcelona
Country/Region: Barcelona, Spain

Description

Cireres is located in Roquetes, a popular neighborhood of Barcelona, with significant levels of vulnerability. This neighborhood has undergone considerable urban improvement since the 1990s. Originally, it was formed as a neighborhood of informal housing. Over the years, these dwellings have been integrated into the urban fabric and living conditions have improved. Today, the neighborhood faces new challenges. Mainly, housing speculation has entered fully into the daily life of the neighbors. For this reason, an investment in social housing is necessary. However, social housing is often expensive for the administration and has no roots in the neighborhood.

Cireres wants to solve the above problems. The project follows the logic of cooperative housing in lease of use. The public administration leases a municipal lot to a cooperative for a long period of time. In exchange, the cooperative builds the building and its members have the right to use the housing. In this way, the municipality does not lose public land for affordable housing. On the other hand, tenants have secure tenure and are part of a larger community integrated into the neighborhood, with the agency to build and decide on their project. To move in, each cohabitation unit has had to make an initial returnable capital contribution and then monthly payments, including services and utilities, which are below city rents.

Cireres also goes a step further. The objective is to generate a community that can build the entire project and live thereafter from the social and solidarity economy, not linked to the speculative market. Thus, the financing comes from Fiare, an ethical bank. The insurance company, the construction company, the management company... and all the agents involved are non-profit cooperatives. In this way, the value of use is put in front of the value of exchange, demonstrating another way to build affordable housing. In addition, the project includes a social economat, a working cooperative of residents dedicated to the trade of agro-ecological products.

The community life of Cireres is structured in an assembly, linked to the realities of the neighborhood and the residents. Its 32 dwellings are organized around common spaces. Thus, the idea is to be a single house, erasing the distance between the public and the private, integrating community life in the residence. For example, the houses are structured around a landing where neighbors can go out to hang the laundry, play... There are also communal indoor spaces. The communal project has an ideology that everyone must respect, the framework from which the activities, complicities and constructions of relationships, group and building are developed.

The site is a plot of 428 m2 located in the street Pla dels Cirerers, 2-4, We wanted to have shared spaces of quality, which allow to release functions of the interior of the private spaces to give them to the community, so 190m2 of buildability of the site are no longer exhausted by the commitment to make community spaces. We have built reduced private living spaces (50 m2 on average), which are compensated by 771 m2 of space for community use. The material used in Cirerers is mainly wood, and also lime mortar on the facades and plasterboard in the interiors. All of them are biodegradable materials with a low ecological footprint, since their production, transport and recycling involve very low CO2 emissions.

The building has won several awards: Advanced Architecture Awards 2022 in the Sustainability category - REBUILD, European Social Innovation Competition (EUSIC) and finalist of the MINI Design Awards 2022 - Madrid Design Festival.

La Balma

0

La Balma

Mismatches Location Financing Functional adequacy Cultural suitability Diversity Vulnerable groups New family structures
Policies and regulations Local policies Land Governance Public-private initiatives Participatory processes
Financing Financial actors
Urban Design Quality Liveability
Promotion and production Public-private partnerships Participatory processes Self-management Self-promotion Cooperatives
Ownership and tenure Shared ownership Rental and temporary tenure Protection of social housing Land ownership Public-private partnerships

Main objectives of the project

La Balma is a housing cooperative on public land. Through a system of rights on land ("cesión de uso"), the municipality leases the land for a long period of time. In exchange, a cooperative of people who meet the requirements to build social housing builds their cooperative. About thirty people live in La Balma, with 20 cohabitation units.

Date

  • 2021: Construction
  • 2017: En proceso
  • 2016: Ganador

Stakeholders

  • Promotor: Sostre Civic (Coopertiva La Balma)
  • Architect: La Boqueria
  • Architect: LaCol
  • Constructor: La Constructiva SCCL
  • Constructor: Arkenova
  • Barcelona City Hall
  • Fiare Banca Ètica
  • Òmnium Cultural
  • Coop57
  • Punt de referència

Location

Continent: Europe
City: Barcelona
Country/Region: Barcelona, Spain

Description

La Balma is located in the Poblenou neighborhood of Barcelona. The neighborhood is an old industrial center of the city, which in recent years has become the first district of technological innovation in the country. It is called 22@. This project was intended to generate a technological district while maintaining the residential-industrial mix characteristic of the neighborhood. The reality has been more complex. The neighborhood has suffered a clear process of gentrification. Housing prices have skyrocketed and many of the traditional premises are no longer there. Thus, one challenge is to maintain a population involved in the neighborhood and that can afford to live in it.

It is from this logic that La Balma was born, a cooperative housing made on public land. Being part of the cooperative requires an initial contribution and the payment of monthly installments that are derived from the costs of acquisition, maintenance and operation of the cooperative housing project, and not from the situation of the real estate market. Thus, one does not acquire the land nor does one acquire the housing. Being part of the cooperative you have the right of use (or the transfer of use) for a long or lifetime period, without real estate market rises and without possible speculation. In this way, the municipality does not lose public land for affordable housing, only leases it without the cost of building social housing. On the other hand, tenants have a secure tenure and are part of a larger community integrated into the neighborhood, with the agency to build and decide on their project. To move in, each cohabitation unit has had to make an initial returnable capital contribution of between €28,000 and €38,000. The monthly payments, which include services and utilities, range from €512 to €800 per dwelling. The financing of these amounts has been made possible thanks to Fiare, an ethical and community bank.

The community at La Balma is heterogeneous and intergenerational. There are 30 people living in 20 units. We find single-parent families, couples, couples with children, cohabitant adults and individual units (from young people to retired people). Many of these people are lifelong residents of Poblenou. In fact, the community was formed prior to construction, participating in all phases of the project, from design to move-in. It also includes a pioneering social project. One of the homes is destined for two young people in exile, thanks to a joint program with Punt de Referència, an organization that works to promote the emancipation of these young people in vulnerable situations, and financed by the Libres Project (Coop57, Òmnium Cultural and ECAS). In addition, these young people participated in the entire design process of the project and participate in the democratic management of the building. To promote the interrelationship with the neighborhood, we also have a first floor space shared with associations and individuals to promote their projects. On the other hand, we are committed to ecological consumption, linking the cooperative with consumer cooperatives in the surrounding area and to self-production with vegetable gardens on the roof.

As far as the building is concerned, it has flexible and multipurpose spaces that evolve with the group according to the changes of both the living units and the people who will inhabit the building: incorporation of new members, births, growth processes of children-adolescents, aging processes of adults ... Thus, the typologies start from a basic module of 50m2 and from the annexation of living units of 16m2 (considered common space for private use in legal terms) allow to grow and shrink the houses. These units are ceded by the cooperative to the family units that need them at any given moment, therefore, it becomes a mechanism to manage changes as an alternative to rotation. This proposal is viable due to the fact that the management of the building is the responsibility of the community itself. The dwellings reduce their surface area (5-10%) to share services such as laundry, study, guest rooms or storage rooms, thus allowing that the collectivization does not involve a cost overrun, but rather the opposite, a saving and a gain in surface area and quality of life.

The architectural project has 225m2 of interior area destined to communal spaces, plus semi-exterior and exterior areas, where we find the following uses: living room - dining room, multipurpose room, library and work space, a laundry per floor, health and care space connected with auxiliary rooms, guest rooms, common and individual storage per floor, equipped deck and outdoor living area, bicycle parking, tool space and workshop area.

In 2016 the competition for the construction was won and in 2021 the building was move-in ready.

Poo Poh Project

0

Poo Poh Project

Mismatches Location Price Financing Functional adequacy Cultural suitability Vulnerable groups Demographic/Urban growth
Policies and regulations National policies Local policies Governance Participatory processes
Financing Public funding Demand subsidies Savings systems Public-private collaboration
Urban Design Modelos De Ciudad Services and infrastructure Environments Liveability
Promotion and production Public-private partnerships Self-management Self-promotion Self-construction Cooperatives Favelas/Slums

Main objectives of the project

The community of Poo Poh is formed by 112 families originating from three previous squatter areas within the city. Following the establishment of a savings group and the registration of their multicommunity housing cooperative, they embarked on a quest for new land. Negotiating a favorable price, they collectively purchased the land through their cooperative. This endeavor was part of a broader initiative aimed at securing land and housing for underprivileged families across Pattani. This initiative involved a citywide process of land readjustment and settlement de-densification, facilitating the relocation of some families to new land while allowing others to improve their existing housing conditions.

Date

  • 2005: En proceso
  • 2007: Construction

Stakeholders

  • Constructor: Poo Poh Coopertaives
  • Promotor: Community Organizations Development Institute (CODI)

Location

Continent: Asia
Country/Region: Pattani, Thailand

Description

Situated on the Gulf of Thailand, the provincial capital of Pattani boasts a rich history as a trading hub spanning over a millennium. Formerly the nucleus of an autonomous Malay principality encompassing Yala and Narathiwat Provinces, Pattani pioneered international trade with the Portuguese in the 16th century, followed by engagements with the Japanese, Dutch, and English in the 17th century. Today, it stands as a vibrant city characterized by ancient mosques, thriving fishing communities, and bustling rubber trade, with a predominantly Malay-speaking Muslim population of approximately 45,000 individuals.

In addressing the pressing issues surrounding settlements and housing, prior approaches often imposed resettlement without considering the agency of affected communities. However, a pivotal shift occurred thanks to the intervention of a crucial organization. The Community Organizations Development Institute (CODI), operating under the Thai Government's Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, emerged as a catalyst for change. CODI's core mission revolves around empowering communities and their organizations, recognizing them as pivotal agents of transformation in both urban and rural settings. Within this narrative, two flagship programs spearheaded by CODI played a central role.

The trajectory of housing and community development in Pattani underwent a significant transformation with the intervention of the "Livable Cities" program in 2003. This initiative played a pivotal role in networking informal settlements across Pattani, fostering collaboration with civil society groups and religious organizations to address various facets of urban life, such as environmental sustainability, healthcare, and alternative energy. Noteworthy outcomes included annual canal-cleaning events and the inaugural citywide survey on urban poverty and housing challenges, revealing that approximately 30% of the city's populace (3,895 households, comprising roughly 12,500 individuals) resided in 16 informal settlements characterized by congested and dilapidated conditions, lacking secure tenure.

In addition to the Livable Cities program, the Baan Mankong Program emerged as a linchpin in CODI's repertoire, launched in 2003 to tackle housing issues confronting the nation's most economically disadvantaged citizens. This initiative directed government funds, in the form of infrastructure subsidies and soft housing loans, directly to impoverished communities, enabling them to spearhead improvements encompassing housing, environmental conditions, basic services, and tenure security. Departing from conventional approaches that delivered housing units to individual families, the Baan Mankong Program empowered Thailand's informal communities to drive a people-centric, citywide process aimed at devising comprehensive solutions to land and housing challenges in urban areas.

With support from the Baan Mankong Program, the community network leveraged data from the citywide survey to formulate plans for their inaugural three housing projects. The survey underscored the density of informal settlements in Pattani, highlighting the plight of joint-family households grappling with overcrowded and uncomfortable living conditions. Recognizing the challenges posed by dense settlements, the community opted to initiate resettlement projects to alleviate congestion and enhance living standards. This strategic pivot towards land readjustment was facilitated by the relatively affordable land prices in Pattani amid years of civil unrest and economic stagnation. Poo Poh emerged as the pioneering resettlement project within the city.

Comprising families from three overcrowded squatter settlements, the Poo Poh project witnessed the formation of a robust multi-community housing cooperative, which identified and acquired a cost-effective parcel of private land spanning 3.14 hectares for their new housing endeavor. Notably, a team of three young Thai community architects played a pivotal role in collaborating with the community to craft an aesthetically pleasing layout plan for the new development. In this collaborative process, the community's social dynamics, characterized by bonds of friendship and kinship, informed the spatial arrangement of houses clustered around communal open spaces. Central to the community layout were a mosque and expansive public garden, occupying 56% and 44% of the land, respectively, dedicated to housing plots, public spaces, roads, and community facilities. The exhaustive six-month process of developing the citywide housing strategy and spearheading the inaugural community housing project at Poo Poh engendered a sense of camaraderie and unity among the participating families through spirited planning workshops.

A distinctive aspect of the Poo Poh narrative was the segmentation of planning workshops into separate sessions for men and women, reflecting the entrenched gender roles prevalent in traditional Malay Muslim communities. Initially, joint workshops yielded limited engagement from women, prompting a strategic shift towards segregated sessions. This approach proved instrumental in amplifying women's voices, with their insights driving key aspects of the community's layout plan. Notably, women advocated for the integration of smaller "pocket parks" throughout the community to facilitate supervised play for children, challenging conventional notions proposed by men. This collaborative endeavor not only yielded a more inclusive and functional community layout but also empowered women to assert their ideas and aspirations within the broader community discourse.

Drawing from lessons learned in prior housing projects in southern Thailand, the architects adopted a proactive approach by prioritizing the completion of infrastructure before commencing house construction. This strategic sequence not only ensured the holistic development of the community but also fostered a sense of collective ownership and camaraderie among residents. Notably, community members actively participated in house construction, organized into clusters of six to ten households, wherein they jointly managed construction activities and finances. The formation of a community committee, comprising representatives from each cluster, further facilitated decentralized decision-making and project management. Embracing diverse approaches to construction management, some clusters enlisted local contractors, while others undertook self-managed construction processes, resulting in distinct architectural expressions across the community.

Harnessing the robust social capital inherent within these communities, the project at Poo Poh exemplified the transformative potential of grassroots mobilization, fostering cohesion and cooperative spirit while securing affordable land without compromising resident agency. Moreover, the project served as a catalyst for gender empowerment, amplifying women's voices and fostering their leadership roles not only within the project but also within the broader community fabric.

Porto 15 - Cohousing for young people

0

Porto 15 - Cohousing for young people

Mismatches Location Services Vacant housing
Promotion and production Public promotion Self-management Cooperatives Site&services
Ownership and tenure Rental and temporary tenure Protection of social housing

Main objectives of the project

Porto 15 stands as a pioneering example of collaborative residence for individuals under 35, marking one of Italy's earliest ventures into cohousing with full public support. This innovative project entails the rehabilitation and subsequent leasing of 18 units within a building owned by ASP - City of Bologna, situated in the heart of the historic city center. Its proximity to the vibrant cultural hub known as Manifattura delle Arti, home to the Museum of Modern Art and the Film Library, further enhances its appeal. The residence offers common spaces for inhabitants to utilize, fostering a sense of community and encouraging active participation in communal life. Residents are invited to engage in this novel form of collaborative living, aiming to create a dynamic and inclusive environment within their shared space.

Date

  • 2017: Construction

Stakeholders

  • Porto15 APS
  • Promotor: ASP - Public Company for Services of the City of Bologna
  • Promotor: ACER-Bologna
  • City of Bologna
  • Constructor: Società Cooperativa SuMisura

Location

Continent: Europe
Country/Region: Bologna, Italy

Description

The roots of the Italian cooperative movement date back to the mid-nineteenth century, with Bologna serving as a hub for numerous such initiatives. In 1884, workers from a tobacco company in Bologna formed one of the earliest housing cooperatives, marking a significant milestone in community organization. While the fascist era interrupted this model, the post-war period witnessed a resurgence of cooperative endeavors.

Bologna's housing landscape has recently been overshadowed by a pressing crisis, exacerbated by factors like soaring rental costs, which spiked by nearly ten percent the previous year. The city's mayor has acknowledged the urgency of the situation, attributing it partly to the lingering effects of economic downturns and phenomena like Airbnb, which diminish the availability of long-term rental properties. In response, the city has undertaken measures such as signing the Evictions Protocol to support families facing eviction due to financial hardships.

Despite these efforts, young people continue to struggle to secure affordable housing. Recognizing the potential of cooperative models, Porto 15 emerged as a pioneering venture. As the first public housing initiative in Italy exclusively for individuals under 35, Porto 15 represents a significant social innovation, particularly in a country where around 67% of this demographic still resides with their parents.

Located in the historic city center, the building is structured around 5 floors of residence in the center of Bologna, 18 apartments for rent to live in, 49 potential inhabitants, 5 common spaces for meetings, parties, activities, workshops… Access to Porto 15 involved self-nomination and a selection process based on compatibility with available accommodations. Concurrently with residency, the inaugural group of cohabitants established Porto 15 APS, a social promotion association aimed at supporting collaborative living and engaging in community activities at local and broader levels. The association is the one responsible of the cooperative ethos of the project.

A defining feature of Porto 15's model is residents' active participation and decision-making, exemplified by the creation of a "charter of values" outlining mutual expectations and responsibilities. This collaborative approach not only benefits residents but also enriches the broader community through organized activities and contributions, such as childcare support systems and ecological initiatives.

Moreover, Porto 15's location in the historic center serves as a bulwark against the encroachment of touristification, safeguarding the area's vibrancy and livability for residents. In fact, the agreement among residents include a commitment to give something back to the local community, by organizing activities. For example, tenants might set up a homework club, or do something ecological such as caring for public gardens. This innovative housing project is part of Bologna's broader efforts to redefine cooperative housing, culminating in the city's distinction as the first in Italy to establish a formal definition of cooperative housing and actively encourage private and citizen-led initiatives to repurpose unused city-owned buildings for similar purposes.