Last week, Wednesday July 5th, SPCitI, represented by Bernardina Borra, was invited by the Podium voor Architectuur to contribute to the panel discussion of the closing meeting of its program “(T)huis voor spoedzoekers” in Hoofdorp.
The program tackled the issue of emergency housing and how to transform this challenge into an opportunity for integration and reflection on new housing development practices.
Two teams made of Dutch and young Syrian designers presented the results of their design research projects which proposed solutions to vulnerable groups in urgent need of housing. The two proposals addressed the issues of use of public spaces, availability and accessibility of public amenities as well as community building and the integration of the new residents into the existing urban fabric and networks at different scales.
In addition to SPCitI, the panel included researchers and speakers from the housing corporation Ymere and the municipality of Haarlemmermeer. The discussion explored the limits of the definition of a “spoedzoeker” as well as the policies and processes that would allow for an active involvement of the target group in the development and the design of both the program and the space. The participants also raised the questions of affordability and sustainability and how they remain critical for the success of any development proposal.