skip to content

Home > Project info

Links Search Help Contact

last updated: September 27, 2005

project info

Large, post-war areas: once the dream of every family, now decline

All over Europe large numbers of inhabitants live in large housing estates built after the Second World War. The estates were carefully planned. But now, while some have well integrated into the housing markets, many of them experience both physical and social decline. They house large numbers of low-income households, unemployed people and households from ethnic minorities. Often despite more than two decades of attempts at rehabilitation, they are increasingly associated with crime and social exclusion. The circumstances in the estates and policy initiatives associated with these estates are the focus of the RESTATE project. An important part of the RESTATE project is the exchange of experiences and solutions between policymakers, housing companies and researchers.

The focus of this project is on the circumstances in these large post-war estates, on policies to counteract negative trends and on activities that stimulate positive developments. All over Europe urban and other policies are increasingly concerned with these large post-war estates. The estates are both physically and in a social sense, increasingly identified among the worst parts of cities in Europe. As millions of people will be affected by the success or failure to improve the estates, which will, due to their sheer quantity, remain an important part of the European housing stock for the coming decades. The range of different problems and their complexity means that they present a challenge to policymakers, practitioners and researchers alike.

The need for working, flexible and failure-proof solutions

Very often, policy and practice responses have only required additional funding. But, after lengthy and costly experiences with different attempts to improve the conditions in the estates, it is now necessary to find out what really seems to work and how. Nowadays, it seems to be most important to integrate policies across departments and between different organisations. Local communities, private partners and different parts of the governmental organisation cooperate in partnerships. When learning about these complex organisations the different social and economic contexts will be taken into consideration.