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VITAL NEIGHBOURHOODS:LESSONS FROM INTERNATIONAL HOUSING RENEWAL
A research publication providing insight on successfulhousing renewal projects from around the world
Vital Neighbourhoods: Lessons from International Housing Renewal, 2017
Druot, Lacaton & Vassal, GHI Le Grand Parc, LAN Architects, Urban Renovation Lormont, Müller Sigrist Architekten, Kalkbreite
In 1934, Elizabeth Denby commenced an international study of social housing across ten European countries, with the aim of understanding how many British-born housing concepts, including co-operatives, garden cities and approaches to modern sanitation, had been used and adapted on the continent.
Almost 80 years after Denby published her findings in the book, Europe Rehoused, Publica commenced a research study in the spirit of this work. Our aim was to investigate what could be learned from successful international housing renewal projects, including key lessons around densification, refurbishment versus demolition, decanting and community engagement. The research was supported by London-based developer Stanhope PLC.
Vital Neighbourhoods: Lessons from international housing renewal reviews how renovation and redevelopment have been proven to provide a greater quantity and quality of social housing than demolition and rebuilding of estates. Our research revealed that the process of housing revitalisation can not only provide better homes faster and at a lower cost, but can also create and support community cohesion.
The study examines precedents from 11 countries, along with in-depth fieldwork investigations of five projects in Bordeaux and Zurich. The publication provides key recommendations for those carrying out housing renewal projects in London that are aligned with and supplement with further practical actions the Mayor of London’s guide to estate regeneration, Better homes for local people.
Making a case for change
Both in London and across the UK, there is an irrefutable need to re-evaluate the way that housing is planned, built and managed, and for residents to have a clear role in the decision-making and management of their homes and neighbourhoods. It’s our hope that the recommendations from this report can contribute meaningfully to the delivery of housing renewal in the UK.
Publica launched Vital Neighbourhoods: Lessons from international housing renewal at City Hall on 15 May 2018, with the help of James Murray, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development. Architects Anne Lacaton, Frederic Druot and Anna Page gave keynote speeches on their projects in Bordeaux, Paris and Zurich, before joining a panel discussion with Kate Macintosh, David Ogunmuyiwa and Adam Khan. The event was attended representatives from a number of London boroughs, housing associations, academics and key players in London’s built environment sector.