Plenaries

Plenaries

Plenary 1: Introduction into the Dutch housing market and Dutch housing policies
Moderator: Peter Boelhouwer (Professor of Housing Systems, Delft University of Technology)

As in many other Western countries, housing problems in the Netherlands have increased significantly over the past ten years. And this while the then Minister of Housing spoke at his farewell in 2017 about a housing market that was running like clockwork and that hardly any government guidance was needed. In 2024, however, the situation has changed drastically and there is now also a serious housing crisis in Dutch politics. The housing shortage has increased sharply in a relatively short period of time, low incomes are experiencing affordability problems and the quality of life is under pressure in many neighborhoods. During this plenary meeting the background to this problem will be discussed in detail. To tackle these problems, the Dutch government has developed a comprehensive policy agenda that will be implemented in the coming years. The second part of the plenary focuses on solutions to get out of the current housing crisis.

Keynote speakers:
Peter Boelhouwer (Professor of Housing Systems, Delft University of Technology)
Hugo De Jonge (Minister of Housing and Spatial Development, Netherlands)

Plenaries 2 and 3 (back-to-back)

Plenary 2: A third way: How can cooperative housing be part of the solution to social, affordability and environmental challenges?
Moderator: Darinka Czischke (Associate Professor Housing and Social Sustainability, TU Delft, and co-founder of the ENHR WG Collaborative Housing)

Cooperative housing is a long-standing provision model that has spread across the world aiming to achieve affordability, social and environmental sustainability aims. It is often seen as an alternative way to private homeownership and (social) rental housing. In many parts of Europe, cooperative housing constitutes an important part of the housing market mostly for middle income groups, particularly in cities like Zurich, Vienna, or Copenhagen. In the last couple of decades, interest in cooperative housing models has re-emerged across Europe and beyond, driven by worsening housing affordability. Despite new supportive legislation and social movements in countries like France, Spain and the Netherlands, cooperative housing has been slow to gain traction as a mainstream housing provision form for larger groups of the population. This panel will explore, from a historical perspective, what the main opportunities and challenges are for cooperative housing models not only to emerge, but to scale-up to become part of the solution to the housing crisis in Europe.

Plenary 3: Challenges for the energy transition and housing affordability in Europe
Moderators: Marja Elsinga (professor of Housing Institutions & Governance, TU Delft) and Henk Visscher (professor of Housing Quality & Process Innovation, TU Delft)

Europe has set clear and challinging goals for the decarbonization of the housing stock in 2030 and 2050. In the ‘A Renovation Wave for Europe’ (2020) the ambitions and integrated policies of the EU were presented; 220 million building units need a deep renovation. At the same time the affordability of housing is under huge pressure, the costs of the energy transition make it even more challenging to provide both affordable and energy efficient housing. This session will focus on the combination sustainable and affordable housing and the implications for collaboration between practice, policy and different research disciplines.

Keynote speakers
Anu Sarnet (Estonian Union of Co-operative Housing Associations (EKYL) |Head of International Relations and Projects
UNECE Centre of Excellence on Sustainable Housing in Tallinn |Coordinator)
Leandro Madrazo Agudin (Full professor at the School of Architecture La Salle, Ramon Llull University, Spain)

Plenaries 4 and 5 (back-to-back)

Plenary 4: Industrialised housing: the way forward?
Moderators: prof. Marja Elsinga (professor of Housing Institutions & Governance, TU Delft) and Vincent Gruis (professor of Housing Management, TU Delft)

The current challenges on the housing market have led to a renewed interest in industrialised housing and expectations are huge. Boosting industrialised housing would not only lead to a much higher housing production rate, but contribute to affordability, reduce environmental hazards and increase the quality of construction as well. Nevertheless, industrialised housing is still a relatively marginal phenomenon compared to traditional construction in many countries, and systematic research into the proposed benefits is scarce. If the benefits are real, why is this so? In this session we discuss the potential of industrialised housing, addressing global and local initiatives in practice and research.

Plenary 5: Young People and Housing Futures
Moderator: Richard Ronald (professor of Housing and Chair of Political and Economic Geographies (PEG) at the University of Amsterdam) 

This session explores the current housing crisis from the perspective of those most affected by it, younger adult cohorts. In recent decades, across Europe, diminishing numbers of younger people have been entering owner-occupation, undermining home ownership rates overall and increasing rental market pressures. More recent housing market responses include a rise in urban build-to-rent and co-living developments to accommodate growing numbers of young people seeking more affordable urban accommodation. Alongside this has been a upsurge in informal flat sharing and other more precarious forms of housing, as well as notable increases in co-residence in the parental home. These changes represent a remarkable shift in housing pathways with new generations of adults following unfamiliar routes through household and housing careers. In this session we address key socioeconomic and housing transformations and how they are reshaping both urban landscapes and standard life-courses. We also consider innovations and potential housing solutions that respond to increasing polarisation and precarity

Keynote speakers
Sophia Maalsen (Senior lecturer in Urbanism, The University of Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning)
Joris Hoekstra (Assistant professor of Housing Studies, TU Delft)

Plenary 6: Housing academia and activism: a necessary or impossible connection?Moderator: Javier Arpa Fernández (Research and Education Coordinator, The Why Factory & TWF Foundation and Curator of Public Programs, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, TU Delft) (TBC) 

Activism: the use of direct and public methods to try to bring about social and political changes that you and others want (Cambridge English dictionary).

Along the wide-spread housing crisis worldwide, recent years have seen the emergence of outspoken academics who combine academic research with activism. Frustrated with the elitist character of peer-reviewed publications and their limited capacity to effect real change, many researchers are increasingly engaging with social and mainstream media, writing blogs, giving interviews and publishing books for general audiences. However, some argue that it is not the role of academics to engage with political debates, and that ‘serious’ academics should stick to science. But what is the meaning of housing research as science in the context of housing policies that are shaped by public opinion and not necessarily by academic knowledge? Is there a place for activism in housing research? Is it at all possible for housing researchers to claim objectivity? This panel will explore these and other questions with a range of scholars who adopt different sides in this debate.