Dynamic global and local impact on housing and those who live there

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					Dynamic global and local impact on housing
        and those who live there

                            ELISABETTA PERO
                                 architect
    phd student in Urban and Architectural Design - Politecnico di Milano


                Housing in an Era of Change
         2010 Housing Studies Association conference
                     University of York
                       14th - 16th April
The theme of the house appears as a complex one, as it
involves different disciplines and reflects the changes we
are approaching, mostly with no qualifications.




                          Elisabetta Pero
                       Politecnico di Milano
In the Italian context the necessity for a political vision is
becoming increasingly clear, so as to activate sustainable
projects from the social, economic and environmental
viewpoint. The rehabilitation of housing politics, as an
aswer to the increase in demand, started some years ago.
The Italian state had essentially set the issue aside since
the eighties of the last century, as the 80% almost of the
residents owned (as a result of pursued policies) an
apartment.




                             Elisabetta Pero
                          Politecnico di Milano
The ongoing transformation, migration, changes in lifestyle
and work, the economic crisis have raised once again the issue
in terms of a real emergency. “The data make clear that the
demand is not due to an absolute shortage of housing, but to
the relative scarcity of homes for rent (the national
availability is 5 house each 100 families)”. For those who
previously couldn't become home owners it is now, in
practice, very difficult to access to the rent trade, because of
the supply shortage and high costs. The framework for this
new application is very broad and covers a wide range of
subjects which, for economic reasons, joined the usual
categories "weak" in the last years: new single-person
households (elderly persones especially, but also singles,
young people, adults, and students), single-income families,
lone parents, separated, young couples with their first
incomes, etc. ...
                             Elisabetta Pero
                          Politecnico di Milano
“The profiles of this question are very articulated and
differentiated by age, profession, family composition, culture,
etc.. and require more targeted responses, distributed in mixed
and integrated action settlements, according to the different
tissues, characterized by house models with an equally targeted
lodging reduction; which may sometimes be linked to social
inclusion programs, varied in terms of time permanence and
access modalities” [1].



[1]
  R. Pugliese, Casa sociale, città territorio in L’abitazione sociale. Un anno di colloqui a cura di C. Bergo e R. Pugliese, Edizioni Unicopli, Dipartimento di
Progettazione dell’Architettura, Milano, 2007, p.13.


                                                                         Elisabetta Pero
                                                                      Politecnico di Milano
Non-EU immigrants, in particular, can hardly access to the
rankings for the allocation of affordable houses, managed by
the institutions, and live in promiscuity and exploitation
conditions, in private, illegally rented houses. Houses for rent in
good conditions are mostly unaffordable, or hardly handed over
to non-EU immigrants. Only those who have managed to build a
good economic solidity during the years succeed, with efforts,
to settle in decent homes, purchasing the house through a
mortgage bank.




                               Elisabetta Pero
                            Politecnico di Milano
The condition of Rom people is particularly serious.




                        Elisabetta Pero
                     Politecnico di Milano
Francesco Giunti Hotel Industria Hublab Edition 2006
                      Elisabetta Pero
                   Politecnico di Milano
The proposed policies, at the moment, (to build new houses and
investments: the Lombardy Region, for instance, has set aside,
just for the two-year period 2002-2004, 1.250 millions of euro),
have quantitatively and qualitatively inadequate solutions. As for
the situation of the Lombardy Region in particular, the
institutions are now planning:

        ○ The alienation of public real estate, so as to mainly
raise funds for new houses.
        ○ The involvement of private investors, who are attracted
by the concrete possibility to recover their investment (for
houses with a moderate rent, for instance)
        ○ A home concept as a service, and not as a real property
anymore
        ○ A more varied offer
                              Elisabetta Pero
                           Politecnico di Milano
These reflections are brought by the analysis and policies
which the present administrations carried out, according
to the objective difficulty, caused by the economic crysis,
in the access to credit, to the depletion of public,
traditional resources, to the unaffordability of exclusively
social districts, from an economic and social point of view.
A part of these reflections is influenced by the italian
history of the “A home for anybody” project, an other part
represents the interests of the local productive realities.
One could maintain that the substantial choice, made by
the institutions for the phenomenon control, is not so
much the convinced realization of a virtuos direction, but
the recognition of the available reosurces on the territory,
so as to use them for investments with positive effects.

                            Elisabetta Pero
                         Politecnico di Milano
                      Proposed directions

The here expounded research is part of a wider work, lead by the
research group of Professor Pugliese from the Politecnico di
Milano University.




                              Elisabetta Pero
                           Politecnico di Milano
First, it starts by establishing the fact that the italian context is
influenced by the lack of a multidisciplinary comparison, which
could really direct the investment dynamics and the home
politics. Some aspects, which architectural and urban projects
broadly include, are hardly accepted by the politics and
investitors who just follow strictly commercial criteria, as far as a
house with easier prices is nowadays expected to get a good
deal too. Sure is the deep and uncritical refuse of what the
sixties and seventies realized about the home question.




                                Elisabetta Pero
                             Politecnico di Milano
The sixties and seventies have been marked by the practice of
a urbanistic idea, based on the zoning , the realization of big
structures to live in, which have often been built without
applying the original project, as for the quality of execution
and the service equipment.




                             Elisabetta Pero
                          Politecnico di Milano
   For the contemporary inhabitant it is difficult to identify
   himself in a high-density and uniformed looking building. In
   time of mass individualism, the anonymity of big blocks of
   owner-occupied flats is rejected, anybody strives to identify his
   own home. In an era where much is debated and culturally
   restructured, it is necessary to find the reasons for building,
   free from the ideologies of the past era. The house isn’t a
   machine for living, as Le Corbusier maintained.
   “The house is primarily a place of extraordinary and unique
   relationship between the person and the space, where the
   conscious and unconscious emotions take place and in which,
   in the relationship with one's own loved ones, hope is placed”
   [1].



[1] Raffaele
          Pugliese, La casa: ideologia o architettura?, in QA24. Casa e città, Quaderni del Dipartimento di progettazione dell’Architettura del Politecnico di
Milano, Mondovì (Cn), Araba Fenice, 2009, p.202.


                                                                    Elisabetta Pero
                                                                 Politecnico di Milano
The identity factor gets viewpoint for the uneasiness which
many citizens experience in their district and the so-called
urban sprawl.




       Milano e il suo sviluppo territoriale



                                   Elisabetta Pero
                                Politecnico di Milano
If globalization and the commercial dynamics of contemporary
architecture seem, in fact, to cancel the spatial dimension of
the project, by questioning primary concepts in the italian, but
also spanish and portuguese architecture [1], such as urban
context, local tradition, environmental pre-existences, genius
loci, some conservative tendencies develop, as an answer to
the need for reassuring and comfortable houses, according to a
design which differs from the one which has just been
explained, because of       the exclusively imitation of the
traditional-conceived house.



[1] Montener   Josep Maria, Dopo il Movimento Moderno. L'architettura della seconda metà del Novecento, Laterza, Bari, 1993, p. 203.




                                                                    Elisabetta Pero
                                                                 Politecnico di Milano
The column, the arch, the pitched roof, the brick (chosen
not for their building qualities) characterize big parts of
house buildings, which shape the so-called urban sprawl.
These are archetypal elements which voice, perhaps, the
residents' desire to confer on one's own home
permanence and tradition.




                           Elisabetta Pero
                        Politecnico di Milano
One may consider the search for the identity characters of
the home as a desire for beauty, and try to place this
aspiration within the discipline of architectural design in
the broader, current global context. Beauty is a very topical
subject, raised by the aspiration to identify oneself in shared
values, within an urban development devoid of a strategic
vision, but also by the innovations which the sustainable
design introduced.




                             Elisabetta Pero
                          Politecnico di Milano
Sometimes you have to make sustainable, from an
environmental perspective, an architectural project which
was not born as a sustainable one. An example is the brie-
soleil on glass walls facing south (a not sustainable choice in
Italy) has become an aesthetic, very fashionable element.
From an economic, but also social
point of view of course, this often
produces unsustainable homes. In
fact they do not trigger those
processes where one's own home
is recognized and positive
resources in the collectivity are
stimulated.
Just the lacking idea of a shared and public city generates the
desire to take root, as for what is said at least, in something
that shows the will of permanence
                             Elisabetta Pero
                          Politecnico di Milano
The city of Milan has yet an important building tradition
matured between the wars, characterized by the desire of an
architecture that could integrate the acquisitions of the
Modern Movement, the new industrial processes and the
continuity with the important historical heritage.
This architecture conceived itself as a profoundly civil one. The
background of this research was the city.




                              Elisabetta Pero
                           Politecnico di Milano
Gio Ponti, a prominent member of this school, argued that
the architecture of the house was not only a problem of art,
but a problem of civilization. The homes of tomorrow must be
a “representation of our civilization itself” [1] . From this
viewpoint we have to interpret he façade-study, the care for
details such as the entrance, the corner solutions, the choice
of materials, the proportions. The apartment buildings, the
collective habitation are what is missing today: the idea of an
inhabitable city.




[1] Gio   Ponti, “Quale sarà la casa di domani?” in Gio Ponti La casa all’italiana, Milano 1933.

                                                                       Elisabetta Pero
                                                                    Politecnico di Milano
                        PHOTO Gabriele Basilico




   Elisabetta Pero
Politecnico di Milano
                        PHOTO Gabriele Basilico

   Elisabetta Pero
Politecnico di Milano
PHOTO Gabriele Basilico



                             Elisabetta Pero
                          Politecnico di Milano
Beauty and sustainability, contemporary universal
aspirations need to meet, as expensive and invasive
technological elements are applied to homes which hardly suit
innovations.




                            Elisabetta Pero
                         Politecnico di Milano
In the new paradigm of sustainability, the global-local
conflict can have a way out. Before the addition of expensive
engineering solutions, the comprehension of the nature of
the place, of the context can really make sustainable a
project. The comprehension of a place does not come to an
end through the analysis of its weather, but also through the
analysis of its inhabitants' lifestyle and traditions. To build in
continuity with the local aspects responds to the global need
of a sustainable building. The recognition of one's own home
stimulates positive resources in the territories.




                              Elisabetta Pero
                           Politecnico di Milano
It seems that the city of Milan, doubtful as to the imitation of
global, trade-asserted models or as to the nostalgic reaction,
does not want to make itself responsible for this heritage.




                             Elisabetta Pero
                          Politecnico di Milano
For the apartment-plans also it is difficult to adapt themselves
to the new requirements. Europe is experimenting with varied
apartment-models, marked by different levels of flexibility in
the internal distribution. The italian law prevents the
enforcement of some strategies which were applied in other
countries and at other times. Even the productive building
system shows serious backwardness which hinders an
industrialized building method. We can say that it is a
structural Italian problem, exemplified by the possibility to
design middle high houses, able, through the advantages of an
increased brightness and a good air circulation, to make up for
the possible small dimensions.




                             Elisabetta Pero
                          Politecnico di Milano
FOSTER AND PARTNERS BUILDING LOW COST, DUISBURG, GERMANIA, 1997-2001

                               Elisabetta Pero
                            Politecnico di Milano
POPP.PLANUNGEN, ESTRADENHAUS, BERLINO, GERMANIA, 1998-2000




                                Elisabetta Pero
                             Politecnico di Milano
Contemporary city without an idea of public space but
developed according to a simple juxtaposition of parts




                         Elisabetta Pero
                      Politecnico di Milano
The link with the city and the sustainability-factor raise the
question of density, whose low index were among the
reasons for the development of urban sprawl and for the
consequent waste of land.
In the Italian context, characterized by the scarcity of land, it
is necessary to support a building that promotes a high
density living, which may have the power to attract services
and infrastructures, a guarantee of quality housing as well.
High density can also depreciate the cost of areas and divide
it into more apartments. If the residents' hostility to tall
buildings is caused by the formal and functional uncertainty
of the open space, solutions that offer low and high-density
homes seem to be very interesting.

TRANSLATED BY Matteo Ghidotti



                                   Elisabetta Pero
                                Politecnico di Milano

				
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