Our vision for housing in the major cities of Northern Europe in 2050
At Breathe, we want to contribute towards making cities sustainable, inclusive and liveable.
On sustainability, we foresee the development of more circular building approaches whereby buildings are constructed for disassembly and end of life-cycle value. New materials need to be developed and integrated into construction that avoid making landfill waste of old buildings. We foresee buildings being designed for more efficient whole life-cycle maintenance. Green energy solutions, insulation, heat pumps and solar panels will have a role to play in bringing the CO2 emissions from housing downward and on to net-zero, eventually.
Cities need to be inclusive of different income groups and demographics. Demographic changes will need to be accommodated, such as the special needs of the ageing population and younger people living in smaller units. Keeping cities inclusive also means accommodating diversity in terms of income and ethnic backgrounds. In this, the affordability of housing plays a large role but also, the ability of lower income groups to share appreciation of house prices. We foresee a hybrid model being developed that can allow people with little wealth to become part owners of their rental apartments. In this way, they can begin saving and slowly accumulate wealth through greater ownership of the apartment in which they live. To make room for the expanding urban population, land will also need to be redeveloped for housing around the city areas.