© Mitchell van Eijk

Towns and cities across the world are grappling with the same crisis of housing affordability. Urban areas are now the focus for economic growth, but this brings with it problems of gentrification and affordability. This is particularly true in booming high-tech cities like Eindhoven trying to attract young talent from across the globe, while securing an ample supply of quality affordable housing and community facilities.

The revival of cities may be a cause for celebration. But, as urbanists, we also have a responsibility to address the social and economic inequalities driven by globalisation that has left large sections of population with no hope of owning a home and relying exclusively on the diminishing supply of affordable and social housing.

There is no better place to explore these issues than Eindhoven. This former industrial powerhouse reinvented itself to become a vibrant city of technologically-driven innovation and collaboration, focusing on technological solutions for worldwide challenges such as mobility, energy and health. Today it is a bustling city in transition, with a constant flow of new developments in creativity, innovation, technology, design and knowledge. As the design capital of the Netherlands, it boasts a broad selection of hotspots, highlights, and events.

Drawing in new talent from around the world, Eindhoven is facing the urgent challenge of providing affordable housing for its fast growing population. Are new and innovative concepts like 3D-printed houses the answer?

3D-printed concrete housing in Eindhoven © Houben and Van Mierlo Architects

Through a combination of cycling and walking tours, plenary and breakout sessions, panel discussions and speakers drawn from across Europe and beyond, we will learn how Eindhoven and others are creating high quality, yet attainable, living environments and in particular how they are addressing the affordable housing crisis.

Over the course of two and a half days, we will explore topics such as the changing role of the public sector as an affordable housing provider, different community-led housing models, or the ways of achieving affordability through innovative design solutions. We will hear about and discuss the applicability of the various regulatory and policy mechanisms, new financial and partnership models used around the world to secure delivery of affordable housing as a key component of great placemaking.

Who will be attending?
Current and next-generation leading urbanists drawn from the UK, Ireland and Europe, from fields such as planning, architecture, urban design, housing, community and cultural development, streetscape, innovation and economic and physical development, property investment, government and public policy.