In the Spain, over 4.6 million people cannot reach comfort temperature in winter. This situation, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), entails a 30% increase in mortality. This juncture is produced for socio-economic reasons and for the large number of buildings that do not meet energy efficiency requirements and do not have adequate facilities to maintain temperature in cold periods.
It is true that access to housing and the sustainability of this sector are one of the major problems in today's society. That is why the UPF Barcelona School of Management has signed with the Metropolitan House Foundation an agreement for the creation of the Dignified and Sustainable Housing Chair, which aims to be a reflection space aimed at analysing housing policies from a social and environmental perspective, without losing sight of the financial and economic sphere. The Rector of UPF, Oriol Amat: the Director General of UPF-BSM, José M. Martínez-Sierra; the chair Director and Vice-dean of knowledge transfer at UPF-BSM, Ramon Bastida, the President of Metropolitan House Foundation, Rafael Angulo, and the Director General of the Metropolitan House Foundation, Jose Vicente Muñoz, and the secretary of the foundation, Jose Luis Pellicer, participated in the signing act.
Bastida: "The creation of this chair is important because it will contribute to the generation and dissemination of knowledge about fundamental aspects to ensure the well-being of people"
According to the chair's Director, Ramon Bastida, "the creation of this chair is important because it will contribute to the generation and dissemination of knowledge about fundamental aspects to ensure people's well-being, such as access to dignified housing, or the environmental sustainability of buildings, among others".
Thus the chair plans to perform training, applied research and transfer of knowledge on economic, fiscal, social, and management aspects in the field of dignified and sustainable housing. "The chair has as its main objectives contributing to improving the quality of citizens' lives, preserving the environment and also improving the efficiency and sustainability of the property sector," Bastida added.
To begin walking, the chair has organized its first conferences A New Green Deal for Urban Housing, in which public urban rehabilitation policies have been addressed within the framework of the NextGeneration EU Programme and the creation of sustainable, digitised and intelligent housing.
During the seminars, Erola Palau, researcher of the UPF-BSM, has presented the first study of the chair, which consists of an analysis of international experiences in measure of the social and environmental impact of the rehabilitation of urban buildings.
According to Palau, "the set of urban dwellings in poor condition is one of the main reasons for the social inequalities of the population, as they affect the quality of life and well-being of people, the environment and the local economic system. For this reason, rehabilitating homes is a direct way of dealing with the vulnerability of people living in it, long-term energy poverty, environmental footprint and neighborhood deterioration." In addition, rehabilitation is a measure to reduce the number of people at risk of social exclusion and poverty, and allows the feeling of community and pride to grow. "In addition, the economy is reactivated through increased services established in the neighborhood and the wealth and quality employment that they generate," added.
Palau: "Rehabilitation is a measure to reduce the number of people at risk of social exclusion and in poverty situations"
With this study also highlights the need to measure the triple impact of rehabilitations, both before and after, through follow-up plans. The study recommends adding social and environmental indicators in addition to economic ones to the aid lines to measure the actual impact of the intervention.
In Spain and Catalonia, there are still few examples of analysis of the impact of urban rehabilitation interventions. The interventions that have been made in recent years have had a social impact that has not always been measured. Internationally, especially in northern European, USA or UK, more urban intervention projects are being found that measure the triple impact, "but at a national level, it is an analysis that has often been lacking, a trend that will have to change in the next decade," the researcher warns.
Finally, the study emphasizes the importance of measuring the real value of urban housing rehabilitations and demonstrates the need for any intervention to be at the optimum point of sustainability, balancing the social, environmental and economic interests of society.
Sessions have had the presence of authorities such as the Rector of Pompeu Fabra University (UPF), Oriol Amat; the President of the Council of Innovation, Knowledge and Documentation of Incasol, Pere Serra; or the President of the Barcelona Demarcation of the College of Architects of Catalonia, Sandra Bstraten.