- Is dialogue and collaboration a way for architects and constructor clients to build sustainable housing for senior citizens?


Urban Challenges 

When aiming to build a socially sustainable living environment, dialogue and different planning methods are common among city planners and civil servants. Can architects and constructor clients also use these methods as new houses and areas are built? This project relates to questions of equality, social participation and accessibility from the perspective of senior citizens. 
When architects and constructor clients involve local citizens and the local government in a dialogue around the creation of new housing, they invite many different perspectives. Different stake holders consider different interests, which lead to a more complex decision making process. This bottom-up-process is the opposite to use statistics and knowledge from an outer perspective in the planning processes. 
A dialogue-based approach demands specific knowledge which this project will contribute to. Empowering the local society, might create challenges to the experts in planning and building. To build houses in a way that considers all aspects of sustainability demand new ways of thinking, both in short and long term since the houses/apartments should be usable by different age groups in the future. 

Overall objective 

The overall objective of the project is to investigate whether architects and constructor clients contribute to sustainable housing for senior citizens by using dialogue and collaboration with the local community. By investigating different architects’ and constructor clients’ approaches and use of knowledge from the local community, the project will create knowledge in both research and practice. 

Local context - Gothenburg, Mölndal, Tjörn and Alingsås 

Four different building projects in municipalities located in the Gothenburg Region will be studied, namely:
•    Lundby park in Gothenburg
•    Bifrost in Mölndal
•    Kållekärr at Tjörn 
•    Noltorp in Alingsås 

All four building projects target seniors above 65 years. The cases have been chosen to represent buildings in different phases: early planning, planning close to start of construction and newly finished apartment blocks. Moreover, the different cases are located in different contexts: a big city (Göteborg), a middle sized city (Mölndal) and two smaller municipalities (Alingsås and Tjörn) which increases the possibility to draw more general conclusions from the study.

Main Research questions 

The projects research questions include the following: 

•    Which are the main critical factors when it comes to planning sustainable housing for senior citizens? 
•    Does dialogue and collaboration in the different phases of a building project contribute to sustainable housing for seniors? 
•    What working models are used in practice when communicating with the local community? 
•    In what way is the perspective of the local community integrated within the architects’ and constructor clients’ decision making processes? 
•    Do the finalized facilities meet the criteria for sustainable housing environment in terms of ecological, economic and social aspects? 

Outcomes - Handbook on dialogue and collaboration 

Some of the outcomes will include a handbook on dialogue and collaboration which is intended to be used as a tool for planning processes. Representatives working in the building sector e.g., architects, real estate owners and civil servants of the municipality will be involved in the preparation of the handbook. Other outcomes will be scientific and popular science publications that can be used to increase knowledge in both science and practice. 


Read more (in Swedish)

Project members

  • Inga Malmqvist

    Assistant Professor Inga Malmqvist works at Chalmers Architecture. She is the project leader for DIABAHS. 

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  • Lisbeth Lindahl

    Ph.D. Lisbeth Lindahl works at The Göteborg Region Association of Local Authorities (GR) . She is the operational project leader for DIABAHS. 

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  • Cecilia Kaan

    Cecilia Kaan works at The Göteborg Region Association of Local Authorities (GR). Cecilia is the project assistant for DIABAHS. 

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