Housing Development for All?: Learnings from the Ars Longa Case

Antti Pirinen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

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This paper discusses the prerequisites of inclusive housing development based on the learnings from Ars Longa, a block of flats for artists, designers and authors in Helsinki, Finland, that was initiated by a group of elderly persons. The study draws from research on co-design and universal design in housing. Post Occupancy Evaluation is used as method of investigation. Interviews with four key actors trace the barriers and enabling factors in the housing development process and assess the final design outcome. The results highlight the role of public institutions in supporting resident-driven projects, the financing of projects as major barrier to laypeople, and the potential of concept design in integrating the needs of stakeholders. Joint design with adjacent plots made extensive shared spaces feasible and clever design moves enabled spatial flexibility, whereas the connection of co-design activities to building design was deemed weak. The study shows that continuous management and community building are needed for negotiating the use of spaces and for fostering agency and belonging among residents. The paper contributes to research on inclusive housing development through an empirical case.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTransforming our World through Universal Design for Human Development
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Universal Design (UD2022)
EditorsIlaria Garofolo, Giulia Bencini, Alberto Arenghi
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-64368-305-8
ISBN (Print)978-1-64368-304-1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2022
MoE publication typeA4 Conference publication
EventInternational Conference on Universal Design: Transforming our World through Universal Design for Human Development - University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy
Duration: 7 Sept 20229 Sept 2022
Conference number: 6

Publication series

NameStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
PublisherIOS Press
ISSN (Print)0926-9630
ISSN (Electronic)1879-8365


ConferenceInternational Conference on Universal Design
Abbreviated titleUD
Internet address


  • Co-design
  • Housing development
  • inclusive design
  • Post occupancy evaluation
  • Senior housing


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