Report on two-day meeting in Paris

Paris Habitat was a great host on the 26th and 27th of June 2019 in Paris, France. On the first day of the meeting, all partners of Interreg project CHARM presented and discussed the project as a whole, the communication and the demonstration exemplars of the social housing organisation. The first day was followed by an Inspiration Day.

CHARM is all about circularity in the field of social housing. By actually putting circularity into practise, not only good practices appear and useful advices can be given, but arising questions and doubts can also be mentioned and discussed. We talked about a couple of issues - which irrevocably evolve - in the demonstration exemplars of CHARM partners Paris Habitat, Accord Housing, Woonbedrijf and De Zonnige Kempen. We tried and did our best to tackle these issues by talking them through.

Circularity in social housing project

To tender for circular projects it is important to put open questions, to give time for diagnosis and searching for solutions. It is therefore needed that housing associations work together with creative and knowledgeable people and institutions like architects, product developers and manufacturers, universities and network organisations. Local authorities and e.g. sector organisations could be a driver for the development of local material exchange platforms. Also, other funding of circular projects might be needed, and to work alongside the traditional formal and standard procedures in renovating and maintaining properties. The reuse of materials and resources is doable, but is sometimes also a challenge. Or simply a question of a completely different mindset or starting point. Take for example one of the demonstration exemplars of Accord. They are going to realise plastic free houses.

Material exchange platforms and circularity in construction project of Paris Habitat

The second day was Inspiration Day. And it was inspirational indeed. We met and started at Les Canaux. Here, in the 19th arrondisement of Paris, the setting was enriched by some of our sub partners and associated partners. Presentations were given bij Paris City Hall Housing Department (DLH) and Backacia on their partnerschip and material reusing platform. Also, the International Synergies – Industrial Ecology Solutions – and the Vlaamse Confederatie Bouw showed us what their resource matching App and website is about. After lunch, we went to see and explore Paris Habitat’s project Caserne de Reuilly in the 12th arrondisement of Paris. Here, one of the architects, RotorDC and Paris Habitat told us about this enormous and fascinating construction project in the heart of Paris, and the way they manage the reuse of material. In total, the project consists of almost 600 houses, under which: social housing and accommodation for students.

Thanks to all partners and participants for joining these exciting two days in Paris. A special thanks to Paris Habitat, who hosted us perfectly and organised the two-day meeting. Are you also interested in circularity and sustainability in (social) housing projects? Join and follow CHARM!

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