As a consequence of public involvement, social and community housing is a vital vector of the green and social transition in terms of its impacts on both the environment (resource and energy consumption) and on lifestyles. Any consideration of the housing production system in this transitional process thus implies an examination of both technical innovation and of the transforming lifestyles of the housing’s occupants. A design-centred approach focuses on users, starting from an observation of their interactions with the housing and, in particular, with the facets of those interactions that relate to green, social, and health-related transitions.
Under this general theme, the presentations are divided into three specific issues as a starting point for dialogue about the experiences in Saint-Étienne and in Montréal:
Access to housing is central to public action in the area of housing. But how do public authorities approach the issues of housing quality and durability or, conversely, what role does housing play in policies relating to durability and sustainability? In the seminar’s first topic, municipal officials from Saint-Étienne and Montréal will outline the issues linking quality in design and in housing, along with their respective approaches.
The consideration of environmental concerns in the housing design process has amplified to reflect the growing number of issues related to the green transition. Various design approaches for a renewed vision of sustainable housing emerge when occupants are viewed as participants in the building’s energy efficiency and when the building’s impacts on the sustainability and resilience of where it is constructed are taken into account. This second topic will illustrate the innovative approaches developed by specialists in Montréal and Saint-Étienne.
The social environment addresses the users’ perspective in terms of both the housing’s ability to adapt to residents’ changing lifestyles and the notions of inclusion within the city. How do designers take user perspectives into account at various levels of intervention? What opportunities for innovation are there with respect to inclusion, lifestyles, and layout of inhabited spaces both indoors and outdoors? In this third and final topic, designers and architects from Saint-Étienne and Montréal will outline avenues of reflection.