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Livability & Affordability in the Digitized City

The annual agenda-setting event around affordable housing in Europe

Estonian Film Museum, Maarjamäe Palace, Tallinn, 7 June 2018Save the date

This summer Housing Europe, the European Federation of Public, Cooperative and Social Housing and EKYL- Estonian Union of Co-operative Housing Associations take a digital look in the future of our cities. In a country that serves as a role model for e-governance the annual agenda-setting event around affordable housing in Europe will bring together more than 150 representatives of housing associations across Europe, policymakers and the civil society in an exchange that generates evidence-based policy suggestions. The effects of the digital age become more and more visible in the cities we live in and will play a shaping role in their future. The question of data, smart city ideas or evolving collaborative governance models are just some aspects of this bigger trend unfolding. Within this context, housing is where everything starts... Join a number of experts from a wide range of sectors- academics, architects, civil engineers, housing providers, policymakers, tech innovators, civil society and international institutions' representatives for a full day of exchange and inspiration!

The event marks the 30-year anniversary of Housing Europe.


Moderation: Eddy Adams | URBACT Programme Expert & Social Innovation Exchange (SIX) Adviser

9:30 – 9:50 | Welcome

  • ​​​Video message from Urve Palo | Estonian Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications
  • Taavi Aas | Mayor of Tallinn, President of the Association of Estonian Cities and Rural Municipalities & member of the EUROCITIES Executive Committee

  • Andres Jaadla | Chairman of the Estonian Union of Co-operative Housing Associations (EKYL) and Member of the European Committee of the Regions (ALDE, Rakvere)

  • Cédric Van Styvendael | President of Housing Europe

9:50 – 10:00 | Warm Up Session

  • A digital Q & A game for a digital future

10:00 – 11:00 | I. Keynote Session - Radical Technologies: The Design of Everyday Life

We already depend on the smartphone to navigate every aspect of our existence. We’re told that innovations—from augmented-reality interfaces and virtual assistants to autonomous delivery drones and self-driving cars—will make life easier, more convenient and more productive. 3D printing promises unprecedented control over the form and distribution of matter, while the blockchain stands to revolutionize everything from the recording and exchange of value to the way we organize the mundane realities of the day to day. And, all the while, fiendishly complex algorithms are operating quietly in the background, reshaping the economy, transforming the fundamental terms of our politics and even redefining what it means to be human.

Having successfully colonized everyday life, these radical technologies are now conditioning the choices available to us in the years to come. How do they work? What challenges do they present to us, as individuals and societies? Who benefits from their adoption?

World-renowned writer and leading technology thinker, Adam Greenfield will deliver a keynote, inviting us to reconsider our relationship with the networked objects, services and spaces that define us, both at home and in the wider urban environment.

  • Adam Greenfield | Writer & Urbanist, founder and managing director of Urbanscale

The presentation will be followed by a discussion with:

  • Lorna Wilson | Innovation and Future Thinking Lead at the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA)

  • Kimmo Rönkä | Future Living Specialist, Housing Fair Finland Co-operative

11:00 – 11:30 Coffee Break + ‘Innovation Shots’ Round 1

Short, informal presentations-pitches of innovative projects as hooks for discussion and exchange during the break.

  1. Housing Europe-EFL-EBZ Summer School – Training young housing professionals ahead of the new challenges for the sector 

  2. People at the heart of housing - HEART: tackle technical, economic and social aspects of energy retrofit 

11:30 – 12:30 | II. Connecting the dots of the digitized city

The digitized city is an unfolding reality. From the inside of our homes to the streets and the means of transport, but also from the use of data to the automation of various aspects in the smart urban living environment.

With people in the center, the session aims to put together the pieces of the puzzle that the digitized city appears to be for many of us. What are the driving forces and the prospects of the digital transformation? How will the future smart city affect the way in which architects design our homes and our public spaces? How do local authorities secure access to technologies and information serving digital inclusion? What is the role of public, cooperative and social housing providers in making the link with other services, including smart transportation, for their residents?

  • Miimu Airaksinen | Managing Director and CEO of Finnish Association of Civil Engineers RIL
    Can we measure what is a digitized city?

  • Raul Järg | Architect, Head of the Estonian Centre of Architecture
    Can we see beyond the horizon?

  • Niki Gaitani, PhD | Senior Researcher - Project Manager at the Research Centre for Zero Emission Neighbourhoods in Smart CitiesNorwegian University of Science and Technology
    Zero emission neighborhoods - Possibilities and Challenges

  • Anders Lago | Chair of HSB Cooperative Housing Association (Sweden)
    Sustainability and digitalization: Creating homes of the future

  • Kalle Virkus | Tartu Region Energy Agency (TREA), Project SmartEnCity
    From Khruschevka to Smartovka 

12:30 – 14:00 Lunch Break + Movie Screening

‘ELEVATION: How drones will change cities’ | A movie created by the online Architecture Magazine DEZEEN - Watch the Trailer 

14:00 – 15:00 | III. Affordability: digital as a disruptor and an opportunity

The digitalization of the housing sector, all the way from design and construction to management seems to raise challenging issues while generating attractive opportunities. On the one hand, Building Information Modelling (BIM) and e-construction reduce the costs and optimize the whole construction process. On the other hand, digital aspects of the sharing economy like AirBnB have a direct impact on the affordability of rents, raising regulatory challenges for local authorities.

What are the integral inequalities of sharing economy? How can housing providers make use of the digital platforms for the best management of their stock and service provision? Can the smart development of the housing economy in Estonia and the ministerial strategy be source of inspiration for other countries? Is the interaction between building technologies, technical systems and the residents in energy retrofit indicative for the overall mindshift in the public, cooperative and social housing sector?

  • Dr. Johannes Lutter | Urban Innovation Vienna
    Sharing economy – fair economy? How to get a grip on the short-term peer-to-peer renting market

  • Jüri Rass, PhD | Deputy Secretary General for Construction at the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications
    Future of the e-Construction in Estonia

  • Evgeny Maksimov | Project Manager, Tallinn City Property Department
    BIM-technology adoption and development in Tallinn

  • Dr. Bernd Rießland | Sozialbau AG (Austria)
    Costs of construction – opportunities and limitations of digitalisation

  • Cattis Carlén | Housing Policy Expert, Riksbyggen (Sweden)
    Digitalization of the housing sector – adding value to the tenants and members of housing co-operatives

15:00 – 15:30 Coffee Break + ‘Innovation Shots’ Round 2

       3. Behavioural change en route to nZEB through gaming – the case of Triple-A Reno 

       4. Housing Association (ATC) Turin: Find, access, manage your home from the palm of your hand

15:30 – 16:30 | IV. Liveability for all is the answer no matter what the question is 

Smart cities are on the top of the agenda of local authorities across the globe. Smart homes are a priority for a number of businesses and housing providers. But does smart mean the same thing for all population groups? How can we make sure that the transition does not leave a significant number of people behind? Health, security and data management are just a few factors that are still raising challenges…

What is the way to move towards smart but also healthy cities? What is the most efficient way to address the question of security? What does it take to get the residents’ acceptance? What is the litmus test for inclusive smart homes? How does a digital urban living environment contribute to social cohesion?

  • Kevin Curran | Professor of Cyber Security, University of Ulster
    What are the dangers in making our cities smarter and what can be done to secure them

  • Stuart Hitchman | Eurhonet IT Topic Group Leader and Head of IT at Rooftop Housing Group
    Smart City, Smart Home, Smart User… for all? 

  • Aart Wijnen | CEO of De Twee Snoeken
    The Dutch City Deal for Data Infrastructure

  • Eha Võrk | Tallinn City Government, Deputy Mayor
    Liveable and responsible housing in Tallinn

16:30 – 16:45 | V. Hashtag Conclusion

  • Eddy Adams in a short interview with Housing Europe President, Cédric Van Styvendael putting together the main takeaways of the day

* The admission fee will cover meals of the day and costs of logistics