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ISHF 2023, what to attend?



Like a proper festival, the program of this years’ International Social Housing Festival (ISHF) in Barcelona (6 to 9 june) is packed with gatherings, tours, debates and workshops. Difficult to make a choice about what to attend. What will actually be discussed? What should not be missed? Here is a quick guide to this years’ ISHF.


Go collaborative

Since the very beginning, collaborative housing initiatives were part of the ISHF. At this years’ ISHF we lean why and how local governments can promote affordable collaborative housing and more specific how this model can be applied for elderly or youngsters. Next to this, we will learn what financial enables can be applied to realize collaborative housing, how cooperatives can become socially and environmentally sustainable. You might want to meet other collaboratives and share experiences during the emerging European network of collaborative housing initiatives. And visit some! Barcelona offers visits to successful collaborative housing projects, like La Balma, Princesa, Cirerers, La Xarxaire, La Moranda and of course La Borda. Don’t miss it!


Fighting homelessness


Renovation as a tool to improve sustainability and communities

One of the biggest challenges that housing providers face is lowering carbon emissions of their existing stock. Urban regeneration processes have a great impact on tenants and need to be planned carefully. A couple of ISHF events focus on this topic, whether housing renovation can be a tool for inclusion, how regeneration can be carried out by collaboratives, and how to scale up from single projects to a big movement. Site visits include tours to recently renovated, 1936 modernism icon Llar Casa Bloc,


To make it happen

Finally, last but not least, this years’ festival focusses -more than previous editions- on the policy framework for affordable housing. All sorts of regulations and policies will be explored. Right from the festival opening on, when we learn about the Catalonian and Spanish housing model. Other events include sessions about long term planning of social housing, about public-private and public-community partnerships, how affordability starts with provision of land, or acquisition of existing stock. Finally, if you are interested in how ‘mature’ housing systems can be improved, join the event on challenges in Austria, Netherlands and Finland, of event ‘towards a just housing system’.


Stand up comedy and ‘musitecture’

Having experienced this all, the best part of the festival is yet to come. At night, from 20 hrs on the crowd gathers at restaurant El Foro, to exchange experiences with fellow visitors. Meanwhile, enjoy stand up comedy on housing on Wednesday and a ‘musitecture’ -a symbiosis between music and architecture- concert on Tuesday.


So much to learn and to discover! Hard to make a choice…

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