- housing | inclusion | green infrastructure | social economy
Nearly 150 years ago, Engels wrote The Housing Question, a text we continue to reference today. In 1872, European cities, forged by the industrial revolution, were blighted by overpopulation as families shared one roof in the slums that grew in the back-alleys of city-centres. Denouncing palliative solutions for a systemic problem, Engels sought for the answer in the path for a fairer, more just society. The following century saw these cities transform. Post-war reconstruction and the generalised development of welfare states could, all over Europe, find solutions for the major housing shortages.
Today, we face new challenges. We need to reimagine sustainable and affordable living, allowing each the right to their right house; to create resilient housing, adaptable to new ways of life; to value our environment and local cultures. Housing remains a central question in the construction of our common future. The Question of Housing, if fundamentally transformed, requires, today as before, an answer that goes further than the individual action. It depends on our co-operation in the construction of holistic solutions for an inclusive and sustainable tomorrow.