By Sergio Tiraro Herrero
Last week I was in Barcelona for the 2nd ‘multinational knowledge brokerage’ event of the RESPONDER project – Sustainable housing in a post-growth Europe. Exploring Policy Options and Open Research Questions. The event was organized by the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA) of the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), and was hosted by the Association of Architects of Catalonia (COAC).
The workshop explored three different policy responses (social recent, refurbishment and co-housing) that emphasise the need to make housing affordable in a post-growth Europe while minimizing the environmental impact of the lifecycle of residential buildings. The discussions were located in the wider framework of beyond-growth and de-growth debates which constitute a main focus of interest of the RESPONDER project. Alternative forms of communal housing (such as co-housing in Sweden and the Mietshaüser Syndikat initiative in Germany) and new ways of political action such as the ones pushed for by the Spanish Platform of Mortgage Victims (PAH) were presented. Energy poverty/vulnerability issues were addressed along with a range of other challenges related to the difficulties of households to access affordable, quality housing.
The EVALUATE project was presented in a poster entitled ‘Bringing energy poverty into the sustainable housing research agenda: The case of Central and Eastern Europe’ co-authored by Sergio Tirado Herrero and Stefan Bouzarovski.