Urban Climate Adaptation Strategies and Affordability of Life: How can that work?
The International Building Exhibition, IBA_Vienna 2022 – New Social Housing is dealing with innovations and new approaches to meet the challenges of our time. The effects of global developments such as climate change are affecting everyone. At the same time, the conditions of our everyday lives are changing rapidly and are showing noticeable impacts on many areas of social coexistence. All this requires special and novel solutions for the future.
Putting climate adaptation measurements in the context of social housing requires dealing with various topics: affordability and social aspects regarding development of new neighbourhoods, but also the refurbishment of the existing housing stock. Furthermore a closer look into the possible compatibility of ecological building methods, planning tools, energy conversation and CO2 neutrality in the context of social housing need to be considered.
Affordability and social aspects of climate adaptation
One of the best-known projects and a showcase for climate adaptation is Bosco Verticale in Milan – with 900 trees, a prime example of what is structurally possible. However, it is a fact that these are privately financed flats in the luxury segment. People in the city with less income are more affected by climate change and thus further questions need to be discussed: What approaches and policies already exist that reconcile climate adaptation, subsidised housing, affordable housing and limited financial resources? What needs to be done still, so that climate adaptation measures and social housing do not contradict each other? What options for certification of buildings with regard to ecological, social and climate-adaptive measures already exist and which are conceivable?
Affordability and ecological building methods
There are already many examples of ecological building methods. But timber construction cannot be the general answer for the future, and if we want to expand building component activation and independent, renewable heat supply, we currently cannot get around concrete. So how can ecological and sustainable building methods be standardised and adapted for subsidised housing, especially regarding refurbishment of existing housing stock? Which actors are needed to address this issue? How can we combine building materials in a new and smart way?
City in climate change and planning tools
Will future designers be adequately trained in green building practices? Are future planners and designers adequately trained in green building practices, prefabricated construction and climate-adapting measures on buildings? How many practicing architects really have internalised this know-how? What developments have there been in building physics calculations in recent years? What forms of joint work are needed for the planning and climate-neutral building of the future? What examples of cooperation and collaboration with regard to ecological building methods and climate adaptation measures already exist and from which lessons can be learned?
Affordability and energy supply
The sun is shining for free, yet converting an energy supply for a building to solar panels can involve enormous effort and financial burden – in the end for the tenants. What solutions are there to reduce costs in the course of energy conversion? How has the payback period changed over the last decade and what impact does this have on cost reduction?
CO2 neutrality in development of existing city
What is the experience regarding energy transition and CO2 neutrality in the existing city? What can strategies and approaches look like here? Should the refurbishment of single buildings go on or do we need a rethinking forward refurbishing whole neighbourhoods. Can similar strategies be applied both to the city of the late 19th century and to the transformations of post-war buildings and settlements, or is a differentiation also required here with regard to CO2 neutrality?