SLC.20.009 – Flexwonen: how can temporary housing become a sustainable solution for diverse housing needs in Dutch cities?

Route: Smart, liveable cities

Cluster question: 050 What is the secret of a resilient society?

The provision of sufficient adequate and affordable housing matching diversifying household types and lifestyles is a key challenge in Dutch society. Meanwhile, housing is the primary lever for tackling interrelated climate (CO2 emissions, resources depletion) and social challenges, (inequality and social polarization), supporting just transitions toward sustainable urban futures. Recently, temporary and flexible housing (flexwonen) has become an important policy direction in Dutch housing, believed to provide solutions to societal challenges while solving immediate housing needs for specific target groups (e.g. status holders, migrants, students, starters, divorcees, elderly). Flexwonen refers to temporary dwellings with temporary planning permission and temporary rental tenure. Due to its experimental nature, flexwonen can be a niche for innovation in circular building, generative design, 3D printing and digital fabrication as well as social programming emphasizing self-organisation, participation, shared spaces and activities, and integration through social mixing. However, despite much interest from practice, there remain major reservations about whether flexwonen can evolve into a viable alternative for resilient and socially inclusive housing, and how exactly that might be achieved. How does flexwonen as a policy instrument answer societal challenges from neighbourhood to national scales? How do residents experience flexwonen? What spatial, architectural, and technical solutions would enable flexwonen to become a sustainable, circular housing product? What finance and governance models are conducive to economically feasible / socially inclusive flexwonen? We tackle these questions in a quadruple-helix collaboration between leading research and technical universities and relevant societal partners. We propose a research program bridging between social sciences, real estate economics, design, and structural engineering, as well as solution-oriented participatory research in urban living labs.


livable cities, shared and collaborative housing, social inclusion, sustainability, temporary housing


Organisation Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)
Name Dr. O. (Oana) Druta