Affordable housing for all as central topic of the INUAS Conference 2019

Isabel Glogar © FH Campus Wien Schedl
Isabel Glogar © FH Campus Wien Schedl

For Isabel Glogar, the diversity of the participants is one of the most distinctive aspect of the INUAS conference. “Practice and science meet, because people, who actively promote projects like neighborhood initiatives and participate in their development, exchange ideas with people from the field of urban research and urban development. Housing affects everyone, and in particular the fact of rising living costs in many European cities and the difficulties of many groups to get access to affordable housing are highly relevant issues.”

Glogar acts as chair of the session “Nachverdichtung & Planung,” in which the challenges of densification are pursued. Glogar sees densification as a chance of using spatial resources better and creating additional living spaces without making use of further areas, and of using the already existing basic infrastructure. Glogar states that seen from an environmental point of view, densification ensures a better ecological footprint in growing cities. However, as Glogar mentions, one also needs to consider the social and functional blend of the city, and the impact on the urban climate. “Densification should leave enough space for initiatives and stakeholders who actively shape housing, as well as for the involvement of the residents of the already existing city areas,” argues Glogar.

When asked what is indispensable for planning in growing cities, Glogar answers that planning has to be seen as a long-term process, which does not end with the construction. “Also housing, cultivation, and district management are part of the whole, and therefore, the collaboration of different disciplines, which bring in different points of views, plays a major role. Because so many people are involved, the communication between the different stakeholders is of major importance.” In addition, legal frameworks must fit and have to be created, Isabel Glogar mentions. Legal frameworks and the right to housing will be the topic of many contributions during the conference. “I am especially looking forward to the discussions of what is necessary to secure and guarantee this right to housing.”

But not only this topic will be examined during the conference. Also the topic of climate change is of importance to housing, says Glogar. She states that the aim of sustainable building is to combine high quality, affordable housing with sustainable urban development. “In his keynote ‘Urban Climate in Everyday Life’ Sascha Roesler of the Swiss National Science Foundation will provide new insights into this topic, and highlight how important it is for sustainable building to be guided by people’s everyday lives.”

The entire interview is available on the website of FH Campus Wien (in German).