Thursday evening at the Malmö office offered a salon with a taste for the future.
- Social housing policy is an objective without a strategy. The central question, to which there is no answer today, is how it should be financed and by whom. This is how Lennart Weiss, commercial director at Veidekke, began his speech when FOJAB arkitekter's Malmö office held its first architectural salon on December 8.
- All newly produced rental housing is 50 % more expensive than owner-occupied housing. So it's not surprising that 70 % of Swedes currently live in owner-occupied homes, an increasing proportion of which - naturally - are newly built. We Swedes are the worst in the world at housing policy and the politicians have no financial strategy in the housing issue, said Lennart Weiss and called for a well-made analysis of the current situation to increase knowledge and thus be able to make well-founded decisions in the future. He also pointed to Norway as a good example.
Some fifty visitors took the opportunity to deepen their knowledge on the theme "Social Housing in Sweden? ". Mingle and food surrounded several short expert presentations and a panel debate, moderated by FOJAB arkitekter's Nils Philip Påhlsson. Lennart Weiss was succeeded by Ulrika Palmblad, head of property development at Älvstranden AB, and her colleague Kristian Käll, process manager for social sustainability. They described the work towards the goals set in Gothenburg's gigantic urban development project to reduce segregation and "social inclusion", in a situation where new construction risks making the situation worse.
- There is a political clarity in Gothenburg to fall back on, a stated goal that everyone should be able to settle in Älvstranden, said Kristian Käll. "The challenge for us is to find creative business models to make this possible.
- 900 homes, representing 25% of the stock, will be financially accessible to all if we succeed. The idea is that the combination of affordable housing and public spaces designed as communal living rooms will provide the basis for social sustainability.
Christer Larsson, Director of Urban Development in Malmö and the government investigator behind the architectural policy report 'Gestaltad livsmiljö', argued that urbanization will slow down.
Cities are simply not up to the task. The deregulation of the housing market means that we cannot meet the needs of the weakest social segment. It is pure nonsense to believe that we will be able to build 700 000 new homes, said Christer Larsson. "It will not happen, because it is too expensive.
Christer Larsson pointed to both a renewal and transformation of the good utility architecture from the 30s, 40s and 50s, and Skåne's multi-core structural model as possible solutions to the housing problem.
He was supported in the subsequent panel debate, where the speakers were reinforced by FOJAB's market coordinator Magdalena Hedman. The panel called for a national housing policy, not least to be able to weigh heavy accounts against each other, such as housing and the labor market. The need for collaboration was also emphasized.
Several audience voices were heard in the discussion, which also focused on the challenge of building cheaply with good architectural quality. Good examples were highlighted, such as the slender lamellar houses and star houses of the 1950s, as well as fine Danish examples. The importance of a good architectural policy that understands how to make use of architects' skills was also emphasized. Several panel members agreed that architects need to be active early in the debate and create alliances with many different actors in the field of urban development in order to meet the challenge we all face.