Across the world, the housing crisis is escalating. Mass migration to cities has led to rapid urbanisation on an unprecedented scale, while the withdrawal of public funding from social housing provision in Western countries, and widening income inequality, have further compounded the situation. In prosperous US and European cities, middle- and low-income residents are being pushed out of housing markets increasingly dominated by luxury investors. The average London tenant, for example, now pays an unaffordable 49 per cent of his or her pre-tax income in rent. Parts of the developing world and areas of forced migration are experiencing insufficient affordable housing stock coupled with rapidly shifting ways of life.
In response to this context, forward-thinking architects are taking the lead with a collaborative approach. By partnering with allied fields, working with residents, developing new forms of housing, and leveraging new funding systems and policies, they are providing strategic leadership for what many consider to be our cities’ most pressing crisis. Amidst growing economic and health disparities, this issue of AD asks how housing projects, and the design processes behind them, might be interventions towards greater social equity, and how collaborative work in housing might reposition the architectural profession at large.
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Contributors include: Cynthia Barton, Deborah Gans, and Rosamund Palmer; Neeraj Bhatia and Antje Steinmuller; Dana Cuff; Fatou Dieye; Robert Fishman; Na Fu; Paul Karakusevic; Kaja Kühl and Julie Behrens; Matthew Gordon Lasner; Meir Lobaton Corona; Marc Norman; Julia Park; Brian Phillips and Deb Katz; Pollyanna Rhee; Emily Schmidt and Rosalie Genevro
Featured architects: Architects for Social Housing, Shigeru Ban Architects, Tatiana Bilbao ESTUDIO, cityLAB, Frédéric Druot Architecture, ERA Architects, GANS studio, Garrison Architects, HOWOGE, Interface Studio Architects, Karakusevic Carson Architects, Lacaton & Vassal, Light Earth Designs, NHDM, PYATOK architecture + urban design, Urbanus, and Urban Works Agency