Restructuring of the ownership pattern of Eastern European urban housing as a tool for green urbanization

Georgiev, Georgi (2017) Restructuring of the ownership pattern of Eastern European urban housing as a tool for green urbanization. In: Sustainable and Green Urbanization, 20–23 November 2017, Zhongshan, Guangdong Province, China. (Submitted)

[thumbnail of Presentation China conference.pdf]
Presentation China conference.pdf



Housing development is of vital importance for sustainable and green cities. Common problems of the housing estates in Eastern European biggest cities include:
• high density high rise apartment buildings developed in 60-90 of XX century
• low housing standard and high energy consumption in multi-storey housing
• deteriorated status of condominium housing due to lack of proper maintenance

East European countries have the legacy of an excessively controlled ‘command’ housing system, which operated till the early1990s. Home ownership, particularly in urban areas, was discouraged; all housing was universally affordable due to extensive subsidies and macroeconomic regulation of prices.

Forced industrialisation in most countries from the region has led to intensive urbanization due to migration of population from rural areas to the big cities. Shortage of housing in big cities imposed fast expansion of new high rise housing estates developed by industrial technologies.

After political changes in most of Eastern European countries rental housing stock was massively privatized beyond the reasonable level. New condominium laws have been approved after 1990. Such legislation was targeted mostly at regulation of use of newly privatised public housing stock. The condominium legislation however fails to impose in reality an obligation on residents to take responsibility for buildings, which in practice leads to deterioration of the stock. As a result more than 50% of the homeowners do not have sufficient income to cover the housing running costs and increasing decapitalization of the condominium buildings take place.

What should be done in EE countries in order to improve the high rise housing structures and therefore to facilitate green urbanization?
• part of existing condominium housing that was privatized massively after the political changes in 90-ies of XX century has to be converted back in rental housing prior to regeneration.
• the retrofit of remaining condominium housing needs to be flexible, bottom up oriented, homeowners friendly and managed by decentralized structures
• Housing retrofit costs are to be covered by savings of energy savings afterwards

Establishment of Housing Associations as non-profit companies set up according to a specific legislation could deliver a main engine for implementation of large scale housing regeneration activities - a part of green urbanization. Housing associations could acquire, retrofit and manage part of the existing condominium housing stock through purchasing at market price from the condominium tenants. Housing associations can take over on behalf of the municipality the coordination role between different stakeholders of the housing renovation and urban regeneration process as a whole.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Keynote)
Subjects:Earth and environmental sciences > Ecology. Environmental preservation
ID Code:3640
Deposited By: Prof. Georgi Nikolov Georgiev
Deposited On:01 Jun 2018 13:50
Last Modified:01 Jun 2018 13:50

Repository Staff Only: item control page