The Role of Educational Institutes in Fostering Sustainable Development of Co-operative Housing across Multiple Scales
Although co-operative housing is widespread and has an impact on the quality of life of millions of people, it is still facing different challenges. In Egypt, the concept of housing co-operatives first appeared in the 1930s with the aim of providing individuals with appropriate dwellings. These initiatives were based on individual initiatives with some State’s support. Thus, laws of modern planning’s strict zoning which segregate urban uses have resulted in large housing estates predominantly known as co-operative, public social housing and are arguably considered socially isolated, culturally inappropriate and environmentally unsustainable. Moreover, housing co-operatives as well as other affordable housing providers are faced with numerous challenges, such as adapting to the increasing demand for affordable housing, socio-demographic change, improving the sustainability of the housing stock, the environmental quality of the neighborhoods, and coping with unfavorable conditions in the financial and housing markets. As an important partner in the current development process, the educational institutes can play a vital role in finding the optimum solutions for problems concerned with co-operative housing through students' design competitions. These competitions represent an important method of finding a design of quality. Thus, architects who compete for a prize each try to develop a design that answers the program requirements. A number of international successful students' competitions concerned with the co-operative housing have been held to address the issues of co-operative housing through proposals to revitalize its locality in one's respective city. To highlight this important role, a comparative analysis between the first three winners of a recent international students' competition will be held to figure out different sustainable design approaches that aim to promote a paradigm shift to achieve adequate shelter for all by placing housing at the center of country’s thinking and policy.