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Untitled Document
Towards Sustainable Communities and housing: actors, interventions and solutions

Created in 2001


Montserrat Pareja Eastaway
Departament of Economics
Facultat d'Economia i Empresa
Universitat de Barcelona
Barcelona, Spain
Jesper Ole Jensen
Aalborg University Copenhagen
Danish Building Research Institute (SBi)
Department of Town, Housing and Property

Nessa Winston
University College Dublin
School of Applied Social Science
Dublin, Ireland

Description of the Working Group
This interdisciplinary working group focuses on research relating to the sustainability of various aspects of housing in the urban context.

Future plans / activities
The Working Group changed its name to ‘Towards Sustainable Communities and housing: actors, interventions and solutions’ by approval of the ENHR CC in November 2017. Eli Støa stepped down as coordinator and Jesper Ole Jensen, Aalborg University, has agreed to join Montserrat Pareja Eastaway and Nessa Winston as one of the co-ordinators of the WG. The Working Group will organise a Workshop in Uppsala 2018: ‘Towards Sustainable Communities and Housing’. Topics on policies, programs, actions and progress towards achieving sustainable solutions for communities, with housing as a central axis will be welcomed. In particular:

  • Sustainable Communities from an international perspective: policies, programs actions
  • Climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies relating to housing (e.g. flooding and drought management; heat islands)
  • Environmental justice and strategies to address the needs of vulnerable groups
  • Low Carbon transitions
  • Fuel poverty
  • Smart solutions for sustainable housing and cities
  • New urbanism
  • Eco-villages
  • Governance and any of the aforementioned issues.

Past activities
In June 2017, Nessa Winston organised the launch of the book ‘Sustainable communities and urban housing: A comparative European perspective’ and a Research Seminar at the Housing Agency of Ireland in Dublin. The book was edited by Montserrat Pareja-Eastaway and Nessa Winston and published by Routledge. Several Working Group members contributed with a Chapter.

The book provides a comparative, cross-national perspective on urban housing and sustainability in Europe. It identifies the main barriers to and drivers of a) more sustainable urban development and b) the sustainable regeneration of urban communities. A key focus of the book is on highlighting policy implications and the potential for policy transfer in these important areas.

At the Tirana Conference, the Working Group on Housing and Urban Sustainability organised a workshop coordinated by Montserrat Pareja-Eastaway and Eli Støa with papers from Albania, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Norway and China, among others. The perspectives were varied and the topics involved a wide range of topics; for instance, Sustainable Urban Regeneration or Sustainable Planning.

In February 2018, several Working Group Members participated in an Exploratory Workshop at LSE hosted by Nancy Holmes about the social, economic and environmental implications of Temporary Subletting in Europe.

Policy implications
The working group topic has nowadays a main focus on policy as much of the research of its members, and papers presented at the conferences, have important policy implications. For example, in the context of climate change and other environmental, social and economic challenges, its work on various aspects of the sustainable regeneration of housing is important for building resilience in urban neighbourhoods and communities. Several of the working group members are engaged in policy advising activities in their own local/national context.