[NeW-BLIV] Post-Covid housing supply in the Brussels Capital Region: changes in location choices, new forms of live-work housing and adapted built environments

Constance Uyttebrouck, Pascal De Decker, Caroline Newton

Housing has played a central role in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This project (Innoviris Prospective Research, 2021-2024) assumes that stay-at-home measures and permanent telework will have long-term effects on housing and working conditions, requiring a reconfiguration of housing provision and working amenities’ supply. More broadly, we consider the Covid-19 crisis as a critical juncture that genuinely challenges housing systems and will likely lead to substantial institutional change. Accordingly, our research goals are threefold: (i) understanding changes in residential preferences and housing needs, (ii) exploring possible and desirable future responses from the supply side and (iii) elaborating strategic options and regulatory enablers allowing to reach desirable futures. The current crisis outcomes on housing provision and working amenities will be explored in the Brussels Capital Region (Belgium). The theoretical framework draws on crises and epidemics’ long-term effects on living and working in cities and urban governance. The research project will start by examining in what ways Covid-19 has shaken live-work relationships, using desk research. A survey of housing needs and residential preferences will then be conducted and followed by the exploration of housing suppliers and co-working providers’ responses through semi-structured interviews and scenario workshops. Finally, prospective scenarios will be designed with master students in urban planning and relevant policy recommendations will be provided towards local decision-makers. Hence, the project will contribute to (i) understanding the Covid-19 crisis effects on the relationship we have to the places where we live and work and (ii) enhancing innovative, adaptive and affordable housing and built environments.