The current economic environment, including the weakening financial situation where public policies are not anymore necessarily assured, brings members and partners of INTA questioning about the new levers of territorial action in particular as regards the topic of affordable housing and habitat. The production of land property is highly debated in the advanced countries - where public policies have a central role in the production of housing especially for the less advantaged classes - or in emerging countries, especially tropical and sub-tropical areas where the responses to the demand for housing do not necessarily fit in a regulated framework.
In response to these questions, members of INTA have established the Community of Competence "Habitat for Tomorrow" to serve as a platform for communication and exchange of experiences & strategies searching for solutions to the questions "how we will live tomorrow and how we will be accommodated".
The first thoughts of this Community of Competence led to place the debate on two levels:
habitat and housing. As habitat, we refer to the way of living, and, far beyond the technical solutions (self-construction, eco-construction, materials, modularity and units' flexibility) or the public policies (housing finance, landownership production, social mix), to all that makes "living together". Housing is the way to make possible to "live together".
The Community of Competence has already identified a number of issues:
- Could the informal settlements in emerging countries be developed in the industrialized countries when the successive crises are likely to make the issue real for many people?
- How to produce land for affordable housing?
- What financial dynamics to meet the need of future investment in affordable housing?
- What interactions between housing demand and other urban services (mobility, workspace, retail, health, energy, water, waste, etc.) as part of an integrated urban development?
- How can we change the design and shape of housing (flexibility)?
- What changes in working practices for those involved in construction?
- What role for private companies that contribute to the production of the city and the building process of dwellings?
- What innovations in the construction in terms of processes and materials (eco construction, self-construction)?
In order to find practical answers to these issues, while advocating an integrated and cross-development vision, members of INTA and its partners have established this Community of Competence to improve their professional expertises: sharing of experiences, dialogue on the different issues, confrontation of ideas and experimentation of new solutions.