Using sustainable consumption and sharing to raise well-being in lower-income neighbourhoods
Social housing developer Himmerland Boligforening has conducted renovations on residential housing in Aalborg’s Eastern suburbs. As part of the urban renewal process, Himmerland identified that people in the future will be transitioning towards ‘access over ownership’ lifestyles. ‘Access’ or ‘on-demand’ economies describe lifestyles where ‘less is more’ and having access to all of the things you need can be more convenient, cheaper and better for the environment.
This type of development is linked to ideas of the ‘sharing economy’; redistributing underutilised assets and resources to people who need them. Sharing formally or informally is a positive way to building social capital and strengthening communities. Sustainable Neighbourhoods aims to use creative sharing and sustainable consumption strategies to increase social well-being of neighbourhoods in Aalborg’s eastern suburbs, reducing environmental impacts and raising economic resilience, especially for lower-income households.
For example, an electric car-sharing scheme for neighbours to share cars has been introduced, and there are communal kitchens, dining and other shared facilities. Himmerland are looking to develop different types of shared and communal resources to increase social interaction and build trust in the community. Through strengthening social networks and building community social capital, they hope to have positive environmental, social and economic benefits. The Sustainable Neighbourhoods is a collaborative effort between Himmerland Boligforening and The Centre for Green Transition.