Providing quality of life for everyone in a growing city

With more than 110 contributions from experts from more than 20 countries, the INUAS Conference at FH Campus Wien made a striking statement: Living in rapidly growing cities is an issue that affects everyone. From November 4th to 6th 2019, the conference participants discussed from an interdisciplinary perspective which prerequisites are necessary for affordable living and how these can be realized.

It was a prelude to the conference series "Urban Transformation" of the INUAS network (International Network of Universities of Applied Sciences), in which FH Campus Wien, the University of Munich and the Zurich University of Applied Sciences explore the topic of urban and regional quality of life. The interdisciplinary approaches at the first conference "Living under Pressure. Dynamics between Centers and Peripheries", polarized in the specialist discussion on socially and climate-friendly living in rapidly growing cities.

Interdisciplinary and international perspectives

The program enabled the exchange of scientific and analytical perspectives from different disciplines such as architecture, urban planning, geography, sociology and social work. The practical experience took place during excursions to applied projects, such as the Seestadt Aspern and the Sonnwendviertel. The discussion was also exciting due to the internationality, with experts from more than 20 countries, including Spain, India, Egypt, Israel, Morocco and China. "It was important for us to radically shift our perspective and not just compare "western" cities with one another," said Marc Diebäcker from the Department Social Work and Member of the Scientific Committee of the INUAS Conference. Christoph Stoik, social space expert at FH Campus Wien and also a Member of the INUAS Committee, added: "Although similar market mechanisms are effective in cities around the world and measures are needed to regulate the housing market, these are aligned with regional and national contexts."

Everyone has the right to affordable housing

Everyone agreed on the "right to housing" as a fundamental building block, which was the main focus of the lecture by the keynote speaker Loretta Lees, Professor at the University of Leicester. Affordable housing and political influencing factors were the topics of the lectures by Amita Bhide, Professor from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences Mumbai, and Javier Burón Cuadrado, City Councilor for Barcelona. Sascha Roesler, Professor of Architecture in Mendrisio, spoke about living in relationship to social and ecological sustainability.

Key challenges for living in the future

The conclusion was that only through the interaction of all actors and several disciplines in urban and residential planning will it be possible to effectively master the challenges of living in growing cities. The upcoming conferences of the partner universities of applied sciences will address questions as to what challenges we will have to face in terms of "resources" and "public spaces".

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