International Forum Affordable Housing: dialogues housing
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International Forum on Affordable Housing: dialogues about housing

Three days dedicated to the right to housing, organized by the International Union of Architects

International Forum Affordable Housing: dialogues housing
By Redazione The Plan -

Everything’s set to go for the International Forum on Affordable Housing, an event organized by the International Union of Architects with the IE School of Architecture and Design among its academic partners. Both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights of 1966 recognize housing as a fundamental right of every person. It’s also included among the sustainable development goals of the UN’s Agenda 2030. Despite these agreements and charters, however, according to data provided by the Affordable Housing Activation Forum (AHA), over 20% of the world’s population still doesn’t have access to adequate housing and, as a result, numerous other rights are denied to them.

This situation, which will be a focus of the International Forum on Affordable Housing (May 18–20, 2022, in Madrid), was further exacerbated by the Covid pandemic. In fact, over the last two years, increasingly troubling inequalities have emerged, which has thrown into sharp focus the absence of a concrete plan of action to remove the barriers to accessing housing. Such a plan is needed to ensure that this right doesn’t stop at “just having a roof over one’s head,” as described in the Dossier released by the AHA, but that “a series of conditions [are fulfilled] that enable people to enjoy various rights – for example, employment, healthcare, social security, participation in the democratic process, privacy, and education.” A telling figure in this regard is that only 13% of cities around the world have affordable housing for the majority of their population. This figure needs to be seen in terms of the number of people worldwide who live in cities, which, at present, is 55% or 4.5 billion. Forecasts, however, indicate that this figure will rise to 68% by 2050. Today, over a billion people live in slums.

With a view to establishing the principles of policies for inclusive urban spaces and access to basic services, the AHA aims (again quoting the Dossier) “to generate coalitions, to renew and incentivize sustainable development, to define and detail the barriers that block access to housing, to be achieved by disseminating empirical, practical knowledge, analyzing and compiling data, promoting best practices, and creating global networks and alliances.”

These aims are the underpinnings of the 2022 forum.


The topics for discussion at the International Forum on Affordable Housing

International Forum about Affordable Housing

Beginning from this background, and the knowledge acquired at the previous forums, this year’s goal is to put people at centerstage and establish minimum habitability requirements in terms of economic and social sustainability, the efficient use of materials and resources, safety and security, privacy, and cohabitation.

The forum is organized by the International Union of Architects (UIA) to encourage the creation of a global network of architects and other professionals in the sector. Among its objectives is to highlight different points of view on common strategies for widespread problems by adopting an integrated, cross-disciplinary vision that can contribute to developing sustainable solutions without the risk of duplication.


>>> Discover 85 Social Housing in Cornellà.


The 2022 program

International Forum about Affordable Housing

Over the space of three days, the forum will host meetings and discussions on regulations, urban design, and social, economic, and environmental sustainability. The opening ceremony will immediately be followed by a discussion on barriers to housing, chaired by Sara Topelson, director of Fundación Centro de Investigación y Documentación de la Casa, Mexico.

Speakers will include the likes of Ben van Berkel of UNStudio; Francesca Cesa Bianchi of Stefano Boeri Architetti; the president of the European Council of Architects, Ruth Schagemann; Reinhard Goethert of MIT Architecture; and Martha Thorne, director of the IE School of Architecture and Design.

“Despite it being a universal right, housing is out of reach for a large part of the world’s population, and this situation is getting worse,” says Thorne. “We recognize that housing is much more than just shelter; it extends from the individual’s need for safety and protection to the quality of whole neighborhoods, the availability of services, and the ability to offer opportunities for development for individuals and communities. The ability to afford safe, healthy housing is affected by many factors, such as location, stage of life, socio-economic status, housing availability, and financing options. At the IE School of Architecture and Design, we analyze complex problems from a holistic perspective so as to develop real and effective solutions.”


>>> You have until May 31 to register for THE PLAN Award 2022, an annual international award for excellence in architecture, interior design, and urban planning with 20 categories, including HOUSING, dedicated to residential complexes and public housing.


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Location: Madrid, Spain
Date: May, 18-20
Organization: International Union of Architects 

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