In the light of global climate change, a growing fossil energy crisis and on-going demographic change, the future of individual and collective housing faces some fundamental environmental, social and economic challenges. To encourage transition towards more sustainable housing, the European consortium CORPUS has now launched a workshop series, which aims to enhance evidence-based policy-making in this domain. The latest research and current policy approaches will be merged using new tools of knowledge brokerage. The workshop series will bring together European experts from housing research and policy-making, in order to facilitate knowledge sharing and community building. The kick-off-workshop is to be held in Helsinki, Finland, on 23-25 November 2011. In parallel, a website has been established (www.scp-knowledge.eu/section/housing) to serve as a platform for knowledge exchange and professional networking.
“Recent winters, where e.g. in some Eastern European countries a secure heating has been at risk due to shortages in gas supply, show some of the urging aspects of moving ahead in sustainable housing”, explains Gerd Scholl, scientist at the Berlin-based Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW) and coordinator of the European consortium. The upcoming expert workshop aims at exploring major sustainability challenges in the housing domain, and will discuss key issues such as barriers to energy savings in households, ecological architecture, energy saving refurbishment and socially sustainable housing. “Our central goal is to enable direct exchange between policy-makers and researchers from different European countries”, explains Scholl. “By a deeper understanding of how different factors shape sustainable housing, we want to promote new policy approaches addressing the future of housing.” Among the key note speakers in this workshop is Gerhard J. Meyer, Professor at Erfurt University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Architecture.
Two subsequent workshops will take place in March and June 2012. They will address policy strategies and instruments promoting sustainable housing and develop scenarios of a sustainable housing future. “We want to generate a solid picture of sustainable housing based on sound scientific evidence”, states Scholl. “Sustainable housing has to be less energy intensive, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and include social aspects at the same time. Ideally, the picture that we want to develop will reveal common as well as divergent views, and also help identify future challenges for knowledge brokerage in this field.”
The European consortium “CORPUS – Enhancing the connectivity between research and policy-making in sustainable consumption” is funded within the EU Seventh Framework programme. It aims to experiment with, and develop, new integrative modalities of knowledge brokerage in sustainable consumption policies. In addition to sustainable housing, the consortium addresses the domains of sustainable food and sustainable mobility.