Congress: Affordable Housing. The 20th Century Legacy.
6th - 8th May 2019, FAUP - Fernando Távora Auditorium and Casa da Música, Porto, Portugal
DATE: 8/5/2019
Mapping Public Housing is a project carried out within Atlas da Casa [AdC], one of the seven research groups of Center for Architecture and Urban Studies [CEAU] at Faculty of Architecture, University of Porto [FAUP].

The aim of the project is to identify the public programs and their spatial concretizations: estates, collective buildings or single-family houses.
In order to establish a processual, contextual, comparative and interpretative study, it is intended to analyse the documental archives of the entities of promotion and tutelage of public housing in Portugal. This approach will enable the setting of a narrative with several purposes:
  • Establishing a relation between public housing programmes and political and legal contexts;
  • Identifying construction systems and housing types;
  • Understanding social policies;
  • and Georeferencing urban contexts in which the initiatives are inscribed.
Now, AdC is organizing an International Congress to be held in Porto, from the 6th to the 8th of May 2019. 

International Conference: Affordable Housing. The 20th Century Legacy.
What future? Challenges and opportunities

1. Colonising Territories, Conquering Wills: Housing as political weapon.

The first half of the 20th century witnessed the rise of fascist and authoritarian movements across the world. At the same time, housing for working classes, previously seen as a social instrument with hygienist purposes, became a topic of political interest. The growth of the labour movement and of the demand for a state response to the lack of housing pressured governments to produce housing massively and quickly to appease voters and suppress social uprisings. This section of the conference focuses on the use of housing as a political instrument in varying political contexts, from the first experiences in democratic regimes and welfare states to the multiple versions of authoritarianism that marked the century.

2. The Social Dimension of the Housing Problem. The Society and Cities reorganization in modernity context.
Table coordinator | Virgílio Borges Pereira

Although frequently repeated, the statements that highlight the problematic nature of the relation that societies establish with housing, as well as its definition as a social construct, not always give origin to actively reflexive analyses about the collective and political configurations underlying the genesis of these processes. Convening the study of the relations that are established between modalities of housing structuration, different social groups and State’s action, this section of the conference invites scholars to specify those relations and to reflexively put into perspective the socio-political tensions inscribed in the reorganization, through housing, of modern societies.

3. Housing Buildings as typo-morphological laboratories during the 20th century.
Table coordinator | Gisela Lameira

In Portugal, as in other countries, the single-family housing model remained a preference for most initiatives of state-provided housing until very late in the 20th century. Nevertheless, multifamily housing in the urban context became prevalent in large and important cities such as Lisbon and Porto.  Between the early 1910s and the late 1970s, this reality brought about the emergence of multiple types of housing buildings, carried out by different types of promoters, such as private individuals, real estate developers, and public and cooperative housing initiatives, the latter being more constrained at an economic level. On this specific subject, the state-subsidized and municipal housing initiatives, the purpose of this session is to discuss the main characteristics of the public housing programmes in different urban, economic and political contexts across the world, in terms of housing models, focusing on the transition from the single-family house model to the multi-family housing block.

4. The Challenge of a new time. Preservation or Transformation of State-Subsidized housing Architecture.
Table coordinator | Luciana Rocha

Throughout the twentieth century, the architecture of domestic space has undergone successive transformations. The internal organization of housing (spaces, uses and functions) progressively adapts to new requirements such as hygiene habits or comfort and also important social changes. In this sense, the main goal of this session is to reflect on the adaptability of state-subsidized housing architecture to the current requirements of contemporary dwellings. Therefore, the purpose is twofold: in the one hand, to take into consideration the main characteristics of these types of housing sets regarding long-term maintenance; on the other hand, to analyse the effective consequences of property transfer from the public to the private domain with respect to the maintenance of the buildings and to establish a relationship between the type of property and the transformation of the building units.

FAUP - Fernando Távora Auditorium and Casa da Música, Porto

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