This research project starts from the observation that interrelated social and spatial problems in large-scale social estates are generally tackled independently from one another.

The SoHoLab project was active between 2017-2020 and was a part of the ENSUF call. The projects main focus was to evaluate LivingLab approaches to understand how residents, housing associations and other intermediaries can be effectively involved in the regeneration of large-scale social housing estates. You can see their results and publications below.


SoHoLab guidelines

In these ‘Guidelines for Social Housing Living Labs’ we bring together a series of recommendations and suggestions to improve regeneration actions, strategies, policies and plans for large-scale social housing estates. They are based on our experiences as action researchers in three national urban contexts (Brussels in Belgium, Milan in Italy and Paris in France) of large-scale social housing where we set up on-site investigations following a Living Lab approach.

The overall aim of this project is to develop an integrated approach towards the renovation of the public and collective spaces of such estates. These approaches will be developed, tested and refined via an evaluation of existing projects in Paris, of an ongoing living lab experience in Milan and in new living lab projects in Brussels and Paris. In these labs we examine how social tenants can be effectively involved in renovation processes, but also how such involvement can be aligned with top-down planning processes.


>> On regeneration and participation

>> From participation to Living Lab

>> 5 themes from ULL experiences

>> Socially oriented ULLs




SoHoLab – The regeneration of large-scale social housing estates through living labs
Duration: 2017–2020
Contact: Prof. Dr. Michael Ryckewaert, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Budget: 1.067.030 EUR
Partners: Cosmopolis – Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Société du Logement de la Région Bruxelles Capitale, Samenlevingsopbouw, Habitat et Rénovation, DAStU – Politecnico di Milano, Éupolis Lombardia, Osservatorio Regionale sulla Condizione Abitativa – Regione Lombardia, Azienda Lombarda Edilizia Residenziale, Associazione Temporiuso, AHTTEP – AUSSER – École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture Paris La Villette, AA Feraru, Immobilière 3F




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