European Commission logo
English English
CORDIS - EU research results

Programme Category


Article available in the following languages:


Social and affordable housing district demonstrator (IA)


To support a wide implementation of these district renovations, industrial urban symbiosis needs to be fostered amongst most relevant partners engaged in construction and renovation of social housing facilities. The local and regional dimension is important since local energy and utility networks, adjacent industrial infrastructures and available by-products and services in such districts would have to be considered in a holistic and integrated approach. In the same way, logistics should be optimised wherever possible and should be an advantage from the sustainable and competitiveness perspective.

Technology based innovations should prove the potential for novel symbiotic renovation projects acting as demonstrators involving multiple industrial sectors (combining non-exhaustively energy, construction, renewables, circular, electronics and creative industries, social housing associations and public authorities) in pilot multi-stakeholder partnerships focussing on a district approach and social needs related to social housing. Projects are expected to address:

  • The development of a broader integrated methodology towards renovation of social housing districts starting from a cross-sectoral approach (e.g. INNOSUP) and engagement models of residents to develop the application of technologies that make social housing more energy efficient, accessible and liveable;
  • Research how technologies for housing and renovation can be adapted in a way that serves the needs of residents in social housing at affordable cost as well as how development at scale (e.g. district level of multi-apartment building) might bring cost optimisation and improve the affordability;
  • The adaptation of technology in way it addresses the basic and essential needs of residents rather than to showcase the most advanced application from a technical perspective (human centred, fit for purpose and tailor made);
  • Research on how renovation of social housing districts can deliver a more balanced population in terms of income, age and socio-economic profile as well as to avoid formation of ghetto’s on the one hand and gentrification on the other hand;
  • Aspects of environmental friendly traffic and internet connectivity to facilitate inclusion are to be considered;
  • Energy poverty issues that must be avoided as a result of the renovation. Social innovation and financial planning must ensure that the cost of living will not increase significantly for tenants and residents;
  • Integration of ICT and digital tools, including smart grids, smart living applications, advanced modelling for eco-design and modular construction, to design and establish novel symbiotic interactions, data sharing and preservation of data confidentiality, as a non-exhaustive list;
  • Assessment methodologies and KPIs to measure the performance of symbiosis, including environmental, economic and social impacts. Life cycle assessment and life cycle cost analysis should take into account existing sustainability standards (e.g. ISO 14000) and existing best practices;
  • New skills acquisition in construction sector by piloting new technologies and processes in the renovation at district level focussing on needs in social housing;
  • Development of common reporting methodologies for the assessment of industrial symbiosis activities and exchanges;
  • Tools to support companies in redefining their products process and systems from the point of view of design, production, logistic and business models;
  • Research on how realised lighthouse models can be duplicated and adapted to other social housing contexts, for example, where no strong social housing sectors are present or where participation models are less developed, such as energy communities and cooperatives;
  • This topic supports the Bauhaus Initiative as lighthouse districts could display the application of the New European Bauhaus practices focussing on the aesthetic and co-creative aspects of renovation and building of social housing districts.

Clustering and cooperation with other selected projects under this cross-cutting call and other relevant projects as well as building on existing projects is essential, as many existing EU projects can contribute to very specific applications or process in such a district renovation.