Exploring the multiple role of dwellers in sustainable urbanization



Experimenting need-based solutions for living and working

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Co-creating pathways to flexible urban futures with diverse stakeholders

Cities are not cities without dwellers. An agile city is a community capable of adjusting to temporary and sudden shifts
in external conditions but also to the long-term needs of the dwellers and their diverse ways of living.

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The objective of the DAC–project is to recognize future living needs and create novel models for cooperation between varied actors, such as housing companies, immigrants, elderly, remote workers, construction companies, housing estates and state and city officials. Changes in these collaborations are severely needed in Finnish cities for maintaining the economic, ecological and social attractiveness. This project defines the dweller as a key driver of urban development and change. Urban dwellers’ ways to live in and use the city creates pressures for urban planning and the housing markets in cities. DAC-project focuses on this urban mosaic of needs and creates measures for improving social urban development, with particular interest on experiments and innovation, new partnership formations, hybrid housing solutions and flexible ideas about collaboration. From urban design viewpoint, we will create solutions, which respond to several social and cultural needs of citizens and are replicable in other cities.

What & how?

DAC – Dwellers in Agile Cities is a research consortium funded by the Academy of Finland Strategic Reseach Council for the years 2016-2019. The project consists over 20 researchers from different institutions working on six subprojects.

The subprojects focus on sustainable urban development:

  • We map the future megatrends and weak signals of future urbanization
  • We carry out action research within socially diverse and ecologically sustainable solutions.
  • We scrutinize the variety of urban interaction as a platform for robust urbanization.
  • We create spatial examples of innovative and flexible housing and living.

The project is carried out in close co-operation with our stakeholders. We operate in four cities in Finland: Espoo, Helsinki, Seinäjoki and Tampere. Our partners consists of i.e. housing companies, architect agencies, citizen organizations, city officials, builders and building professionals and service providers.

The DAC-project has three phases

  • In the first phase we create an analysis of interesting and promising international cases applicable in the Finnish context together with our international reearch partners. Via co-design we will also scrutinize the Finnish case studies and needs of different dweller groups.
  • In the second phase we move onto analysing experimental cases and practices of living, housing and urban mobility.
  • The third phase is the creation of a roadmap to agile cities. We do not aim to produce one set of practices or a model, but aim to highlight the potentials of urbanization in which the city works as a platform for different possibilties and flows of living, working and dwelling.

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