Urban Revitalization of Mass Housing International Competition

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UN-Habitat is promoting a new urban planning paradigm that calls for planning in advance at the scale of expected development of cities with a better integration of urban uses – housing, business, retail, recreation, education, agricultural, amongst others. The aim of this paradigm shift is to achieve adequate urban densities to minimize the impact of urban sprawl, improve mobility and reduce greenhouse emissions. The ultimate goal is to attain the social, economic, environmental and cultural sustainability of cities.

Modern planning’s strict zoning laws which segregate urban uses have resulted in large housing estates predominantly know as mass, public or social housing. In some countries, mass housing makes up over 50% of the urban housing stock and currently faces the following challenges:

  • Large environmental footprint from location in peripheral urban areas;
  • Low-quality construction coupled with aging and dilapidating housing stock;
  • Open spaces which are mostly neglected, underutilized and unsafe;
  • Insecure tenure of occupants contributes to a poor sense of community and social cohesion;
  • Lack of access to financial resources and poor maintenance have led to deteriorated living conditions;
  • Social segregation characterized by crime, marginalized groups and an aging population.

Overall mass housing in today’s world does not conform to the norms of sustainable urbanism. Given the magnitude of the existing characteristics above and the continuation of mass housing trends in some places today, there is an urgent need to address these challenges now.

Purpose: To address the issues of mass housing through proposals to revitalize a mass housing locality in one’s respective city.

In cities and localities of countries in the following seven regions:

  • Arab States
  • Asia and the Pacific
  • Countries in Transition (Eastern Europe and Central Asia)
  • Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Western Europe and other OECD Countries (Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, USA etc.)
  • Sub- Saharan Africa

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