POWER HOUSE nZEC & Solar Decathlon Europe 2014, Versailles

The "Housing Europe meets Solar Decathlon 2014 Report"

The Second POWER HOUSE nZEC Symposium held in Versailles represented an excellent opportunity to assess the issues that cities of tomorrow will be facing in the near future and to discuss with local authorities’ representatives and housing experts about how Public, Cooperative and Social Housing providers should contribute to address these challenges and secure a ‘fair energy transition’.

The report resulting from this exercise includes a brief description of the presentations by and roundtable discussions amongst Housing Europe members, POWER HOUSE TaskForces Leaders, invited speakers and Solar Decathlon Europe representatives. The report concludes with some recommendations for the housing sector and urban stakeholders to help address the challenges of affordable housing and fair energy transition that the European cities of tomorrow will be facing.

Please click here to download the report "The City of Tomorrow and the Fair Energy Transition: the role of affordable and social housing providers".

Key messages out of the Symposium

The presence of decent affordable housing is key in the urban context since it involves important social and civic values and helps create and maintain communities which are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable and where everyone is enabled to reach their full potential.

Ensuring that all the residents equally share the benefits of city life and urban growth is crucial to making a city successful. This echoes the common vision that the participants at the Symposium expressed regarding the kind of city they want to live in - a city for all that is affordable, smart, thriving, compact and with easily accessible facilities, healthy and green, with safe and active neighbourhoods.

Improving the energy efficiency of buildings and retrofitting existing stock at an affordable cost raises the level of resilience of communities and cities as it helps reduce their economic and energy vulnerability and helps them to be ‘future-proofed’.

The whole urban system, including nature, services, people, spatial development, built environment, etc would need to be prepared for, able to respond to and withstand impacts from future climatic, social, technological or regulatory changes. This is a much bigger challenge and task that all inhabitants need to face and solve together through strategic planning and good governance across different sectors and levels.

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