INUAS Conference 2019: Housing as a fundamental right. Architectural perspectives of growing cities.

Martin Aichholzer FH Campus Wien
Martin Aichholzer FH Campus Wien

For Martin Aichholzer, head of the study program Architecture-Green Building at FH Campus Wien University of Applied Sciences and member of the scientific committee of the INUAS conference, the ever-increasing need for space is one of the most pressing problems of rapidly growing cities. “Whether large apartments or smaller ones for single households, for example, they have to be affordable, but housing costs are exploding. Yet housing is a fundamental right. To intervene in a channeling manner requires a sensitive discussion of everyone involved in this issue,” says Aichholzer.

New residential areas and city districts like the “Seestadt Aspern” at the outskirts of Vienna offer great opportunities to introduce extremely important new aspects from a constructional perspective, like sustainability and conservation of resources. “When a new city district is built, then it should have the highest sustainability targets, because with a new district and its planned infrastructure we determine something that lasts much longer than the individual buildings. The consequences have to be carefully considered. In addition, ecological sustainability is also absolutely necessary in the construction method, i.e. Green Building,” declares Aichholzer.

Asked why the buzzword “densification” is repeatedly used in connection with urban growth, Aichholzer answers that from the point of view of sustainability densification is in comparison to a new building always the better option, because the infrastructure like the sewage systems or streets is already there and in most cases, no further soil sealing is necessary. Similarly, according to Aichholzer, the dissolution of vacancies is from an ecological and economical perspective a reasonable solution to create new living spaces.

Program items of the INUAS Conference 2019, to which Martin Aichholzer will pay particular attention, are contributions on social projects. “Especially a look far into the distance to Russia, China, or Africa and India, is interesting for me.” He regards the INUAS Conference as an excellent opportunity to exchange ideas about how other nations deal with topics of rapidly growing cities, such as social differences or differences due to different origins. Aichholzer notes: “It would be desirable that all inhabitants of a city are satisfied. Because then more time is left to deal with other topics of the future, which are important for our progress.”

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