Ludwig Engel is HouseEurope! Team Strategist and Organiser, part of s+ (station.plus, Department for Architecture, ETH Zurich).
HouseEurope! is European Citizen's Initiative—ECI's legislative proposal.
It is a growing team of citizens that brings together diverse perspectives and expertise from the fields of architecture, labor and politics, to our initiative. Together, they are committed to creating precedents for the social-ecological transformation of how we live together. To achieve the social-ecological transformation of the existing building stock we must activate what is already there, through measures focused on building preservation, adaptation, renovation, and transformation.
Preservation—Reuse don't demolish!
HouseEurope! calls for the preservation of existing buildings and the energy already invested in them. By doing so, we can save valuable resources and maintain social and cultural values. The aim is to prioritize reuse over demolition, taking the first step towards achieving affordable living spaces for all.
Adaptation—Adapt don't abandon!
HouseEurope! calls for the adaptation of existing structures and underused spaces. In doing so, we can give Europe's building stock a new purpose and narrative, reframing the perception of value in what already exists. The aim is to adapt buildings that have fallen out of use, thereby invigorating the potential of the existing building stock.
Renovation—Build for the future!
HouseEurope! calls for the renovation, repair, and care of existing buildings. This reduces waste and CO2 emissions. The aim is to renovate in a future-proof way, meaning we need to (re)build in a long-lasting way, limiting the unnecessary use of additional material and new construction now, and in the future.
Transformation—Shift the Value!
HouseEurope! calls for the transformation of existing structures in a social, environmental, and economic sense. The aim is to implement policies that ensure equity, resilience, and community-building. We need new cultural narratives: from viewing spaces as commodities to seeing them as necessities.