Social Sustainability in Residential Solutions – A Swedish Case.
Paper in proceedings, 2016
Currently there is a mounting demand on housing providers to contribute to sustainability in residential situations and to deliver practical demonstrations and experiments in this field. One such example in Sweden has been initiated as a research based project develop-ment process by a cooperative housing association in Göteborg, Riksbyggen EF, and a major actor on national level. During a period of three years a transdisciplinary collaboration, involv¬ing Chalmers Architecture and the University of Gothenburg a building project comprising more than a hundred flats has been defined now to be built within a year at Chalmers campus site. The project, the so called Positive Footprint Housing claims a future realization of a num¬ber of radical implementation in a design strategy of significantly raised residential resilience of Brf Viva, as the name given. Examples range from a wide variety of components like sharing of elec¬tric car pool, limited parking lots, extensive application of roof pv-cells and electric produc¬tion to the introduction of low cost starter flats for young residents and structural flexibility of apartments with extensive common facilities like a winter garden for parties, meetings and cultiva¬tion. Efforts to create social sustainable solutions have been both procedural and substan¬tive in character. This paper will take a critical stance towards this endeavor building upon re¬lated conducted research with insights and observations of authors from participation within this pro¬cess of research informed residential projective realization. The focus has been set on un¬folded and identified crucial social aspects of sustainability and related architectural residential solutions of alterability and flexibility. Our study shows the inherent vagueness of general sustaina¬bility formulations, especially concerning social sustainability, and the importance of doing research directly in the conflicting social fabric where sustainability goals are negotiated and given a concrete significance.