Future Proof Neighborhoods: Old and New Housing Ideals

The search for new models for affordable housing in the world’s growing cities has never been more urgent. Good and affordable housing is needed to address the still accelerating growth of urban populations and the challenges of climate change, growing urban inequality and segregation. At the same time there is a similar urgency to intervene in existing housing neighborhoods where the same challenges ask for drastic interventions. 

To make sense of the challenges we are facing today, we need to develop critical accounts of experiences and developments from the past. In the last hundred years architects and urbanists have proposed many solutions to address the need for housing, based on high ideals and ambitions. However, often these projects, for many and complex reasons, had a short-lived future, failed, and are still failing.

The studio will investigate a selection of large-scale collective housing projects from the last hundred years, from the scale of the dwelling unit and the housing cluster to the scale of the neighborhood, the city and the territory. These different scales will be brought together in a (re-)design project for one of the investigated cases, exploring strategies for adaptation, differentiation, and densification of the housing, for rethinking and redesigning the open space and connections to the surrounding city and landscapes, leading to a model for a climate-responsive and future-proof neighborhood providing space for a diverse and inclusive community.