incommon-Rock the Block

Rock the Block

Rock the Block

We set up the foundations for affordable, sustainable and qualitative housing in collaboration with the community.

The overarching challenge to be tackled through the Rock the Block (RtB) project is the vicious circle created between low housing quality/ unsatisfied housing needs and weak community bonds.

The proposed solution operationalizes the conceptual triad of ‘affordable housing’ (quality housing infrastructure; satisfied housing needs; care and support) and tackles the related challenges in 3 solution pillars:

  • Technical (green/digital/aesthetic/functional/circular/inclusive) transformations
  • Community building and upskilling
  • Institutional interventions for care and support.

 

Which is the “key-foundation” for the project building?

The RtB project employs ‘Polykatoikia’ (block of flats) as the intervention unit to deal collectively with common problems in contrast to fragmented housing strategies. It sets up a new transferable urban policy and funding tool (public call/ assessment/ contracting/ consultation/ funding scheme) and two new municipal structures (Co-living Hub & Housing Office). The Co-living Hub will be hosting skills-building, caring, educational actions, designed by OP, IC, OE, UB, while the Housing Office will offer housing-related consultation to all citizens for free.

The goal is to offer the target groups (all citizens/ unemployed people/ UWA students) multilevel affordability solutions that will go through technical transformations and will be secured within communities of care and institutional protection.

The starting point for the project implementation will be the Municipality of Egaleo in the Western part of Attica Region as it is the administrative unit with the most persistent social inequalities, being a zone of relative deprivation, compared to other units of Attica (IUIP, 2014; ITI of Western Athens, 2014-2020).

 

incommon-
rock-the-block

RtB is conceptually, methodologically, and institutionally innovative. It seeks affordable housing solutions in state-of-the-art technologies and new mutually caring relations. Innovative integrated interventions are required to release the area from the evolving decay of both physical and social space,
linking sustainable housing affordability to aesthetic and community reactivation (NEB principles). However, there are more challenges to be considered:

● Fragmented housing strategies (e.g., Exoikonomo; Loan Programmes) employ ‘households’ as the intervention unit. Shared problems within blocks are continuously addressed at different speeds.

● In recent research about housing (ISTOPOL), 43% of households reported that there are management issues within blocks, low levels of agreement among residents and weak mutual support, leading to degradation of both the buildings and their lives’ quality.

● Renovation and green upgrading of housing infrastructure often leads to green gentrification and eviction

The project partners are:
Municipality of Egaleo (MoE), Symbolo GP, National Centre of Scientific Research (NCSR) “Demokritos”, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Regional Development Institute – Panteion University (RDI), Urbana, incommon, Organization Earth, Ohi Pezoume, Performing Arts NPO, AREA (Architecture Research Athens)

The project is co-funded by the European Urban Initiative.