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Renewing Europe's housing$
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Richard Turkington and Christopher Watson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781447310129

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447310129.001.0001

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From physical improvement to holistic renewal: the Danish experience

From physical improvement to holistic renewal: the Danish experience

(p.21) Two From physical improvement to holistic renewal: the Danish experience
Renewing Europe's housing

Hedvig Vestergaard

Policy Press

This chapter looks at the progression in Denmark from physical improvement to holistic renewal; and at the neighbourhood renewal approach to the large non-profit social housing estates built in the 1960s and 1970s. These estates are where many of the country’s most difficult housing and social problems are concentrated; and they have often been stigmatised in political debate. Housing built before the First World War was partly dealt with through slum clearance from the 1940s to the 1960s; but in 1977 it was estimated that about 20 per cent of the national housing stock was in need of repair and upgrading. In following this programme, care was taken to avoid the displacement of local residents, businesses and jobs but progress was slow and often costly. Since 1961, energy conservation measures have been mandatory for new building: the regulations do not yet enforce these standards in housing renewal, though their adoption is strongly encouraged. The focus of renewal has moved from physical intervention, to an integrated multi-sectoral approach to advance social sustainability. These principles are illustrated through a case study of the Bispehaven estate in Aarhus. Renewal has become a process undertaken with residents, not to or for them.

Keywords:   housing policy development, improving social housing estates, energy conservation and standards, Bispehaven, Aarhus, resident involvement

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