Background Information on Respondents
The respondents came from 11 different countries from 4 continents (Albania, Australia, Austria, China, Estonia, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Serbia, South Africa, Switzerland), with 15 respondents being European (Fig. 7).
The following roles were represented: civil and environmental engineers (6 respondents), general managers (5 respondents), architects (2 respondents), an urban planner, a landscape architect, a geographer, an urban climatologist and an archaeologist. The topic of ‘temporary housing’ was of great interest for participants from different professions who regarded the subject from different perspectives. The interest of the urban climatologists, for instance, primarily stemmed from the positive impact of temporary homes on the environment, thanks to the recovery and reuse of units and components, directly and indirectly affecting the urban climate. In the case of the archaeologist, the interest in PUEs was explained by the need to use lightweight structures on archaeological sites, with the aim of preserving the soil on which they are built as much as possible and allowing quick assembly and disassembly activities. Thirteen of the respondents have never been directly involved in temporary housing projects, three participants had up to 2 years, one participant between 2 and 5 years and one participant over 10 years of direct experience with temporary housing projects (Fig. 8).
Requirements for Temporary Housing
The second questionnaire block concerned the respondents’ positions regarding the requirements that temporary environments should fulfil. Respondents rated pre-defined requirements to evaluate their importance on an increasing scale from 1 to 5 (least importance to most importance) (Table 2).
In general, the scores for each requirement are quite high and they were globally considered important aspects for the realisation of PUEs and temporary housing strategies. The highest ratings were achieved by V7 ‘recyclability of components’ with an average score of 4,7 — with every respondent giving it a rating of 5, with the exception of two individuals who rated it as 4 and one who gave it a rating of 3 — and the aspect V2 ‘demountable, storable and reusable’ with an average rating of 4,6, having been exclusively rated as 4 or 5 by all respondents. Waste is a big problem in the construction sector, and many respondents addressed this during the session. The chance to recycle building components and products seems to be the most important requirement for the participants, which must be taken into consideration when planning temporary housing projects. This could be an area where temporary housing can make a great contribution to the building sector as a whole, experimenting with reusability and recyclability of components.
These aspects are followed closely by V1 ‘modular components’ and V8 ‘affordability’ (whereby affordability refers to the costs for the construction, transportation, running and dismantling/recycling processes), both having an average score of 4,3 and a median of 5. Engineers and architects tended to rate V1 positively, underlining the advantages of building with modular components.
The aspect V5 ‘adaptable to different uses and target groups’ received an average score of 4,2, with the ratings ranging from 1 to 5. The rating of this aspect could be particularly dependent on the main objectives of the temporary housing projects. The reasoning behind one of the low ratings is related to the possible obstacle for the future reuse in new contexts. The concern is that the difference in culture and religion would require too many adaptations. The lower scores can also simply reflect that temporary housing can have many different aims, including experimenting with new materials or aesthetics, which would not necessarily be related to an adaptability to different uses and target groups.
The aspects V4 ‘fast and easy in assembly and disassembly’ and V6 ‘leave no marks and preserve the quality of the ground’ are both tied with an average score of 4,1, whereby the latter has a median of 5, as opposed to 4,5. Assessments regarding the importance of these aspects appear to show a varied picture, spanning the entire spectrum. Regarding V4, this aspect may increase costs if it is not given (by requiring expert assembly and disassembly). The rating of V6 likely varies according to contextual factors, perhaps being of importance when on a green field, but less relevant when in a building gap or within a building.
V3 ‘Lightweight and easy to transport’ received the lowest average score of 3,9, despite almost half of the respondents having given it a rating of 5. This aspect also has the lowest median value with 4. It is possible that the ratings may vary according to contextual factors. V3 is related to V2, which got high ratings across the board. For temporary housing to be demounted, stored and reused, transportation will usually be part of this process. If this factor V3 is considered not to decrease the factor of V2, then the lower rating could imply that the costs for transportation (in terms of money and time) should not be a prioritised element in the conceptualisation. This may be dependent on the duration of stay: for example, if the transport is only necessary once every 3 or 5 years, it is much easier to cover the costs than if the transport has to be organised every few months. There would likely be a noticeable impact on reusability if transport is very difficult and expensive. Concerning the aspect of being ‘lightweight’, respondents contested that a building made out of light materials cannot give the same feeling of safety that traditional buildings (made out of heavy materials, such as concrete) usually provide, especially after natural disasters (such as earthquakes); another participant pointed out that it is possible to have easy dismounting processes with heavy materials like prestressed concrete panels, produced in a factory and ready to be mounted.
Relevance of Factors for Temporary Housing
The third questionnaire block concerned the respondents’ opinions on which factors were most important when planning temporary housing. Respondents were asked to rate pre-defined requirements, in order to evaluate their importance in an increasing scale from 1 to 5 (least importance to most importance). The respondents were also allowed to specify their answers in the form of open questions (Table 3).
In general, all of the factors were considered as being important by the respondents. The factor V6 ‘environmental impact’ achieved the highest average score with 4,6, with a clear distance to the second-highest average score of 4,3 for V7 ‘well-being of users’. Both V6 and V7 are the only aspects with a median of 5 and share a similar distribution of ratings. The high rating of V6 emphasises the potential of temporary housing for sustainable building. However, this score also reflects the concern that through their temporary nature, temporary housing could be the source of much waste, so the environmental impact must be given particular consideration during planning. The fact that V7 garnered the second-highest average score shows that temporary housing is not just regarded as providing temporary shelter from the elements with the purpose of covering the most essential needs, but that it is regarded as ‘housing’ in a sense of homing people and providing comforts able to cover human needs beyond the basic needs ensuring survival.
V8 ‘reversibility’ received the third-highest score with an average of 4,2 and a median of 4. The overwhelming amount of high ratings by most respondents indicate that V8 can be considered a core characteristic of temporary housing. The rather uniform rating among the participants is quite interesting when regarding it compared to the very varied ratings the related aspect ‘leaves no marks and preserves the quality of the ground’ received as a requirement for PUEs in the earlier question block #2. This may be due to ‘reversibility’ being broader in scope.
V4 ‘aesthetics of the solution’ received an average score of 4,0, with the ratings 5, 4 and 3 having been chosen equally often. Not a single participant answered with a score of 2 or 1, displaying a uniform agreement that aesthetics have a place in planning temporary housing, which is even prioritised (on average) over V1 ‘total expense of production (de-)construction, running costs and storage’, V2 ‘space required for storage’, V3 ‘space required for implementation’ and V5 ‘lead time for temporary housing’. Three aspects are tied with an average score of 3,8, namely V1, V3 and V5. There is a strong agreement that total expense is an important factor to consider, with only one person rating it below 3. The aspect V3 sees a distribution of answers almost equally spread over ratings of 5, 4 and 3, with only one individual rating it as 2. Urban planners in particular appear to have rated this aspect highly. The even distribution between the scores 3 and 5 indicates that space is an important factor, but it is perhaps not so scarce as to be considered a higher priority. The third tied aspect V5 ‘lead time for temporary housing’ appears to be an important factor for the planning phase, but on average scores below factors such as V6, V7 and V8. The lowest rating was received by V2 ‘space required for storage’ with an average rating of 3,4 and a median of 3. This is the only aspect which received on average more neutral or negative ratings than positive ones. The importance of V2 is highly contextual (frequency and duration of storage need), and different assumptions can be made regarding the availability or costs of storage
In the open comments, the respondents introduced various additional aspects, such as location, access to electricity and water/sanitation, affordability for the end-users, integration into the local, cultural landscape and waste production. These are all elements which are addressed within the WWTF-project, confirming their relevance (also at the international scale).
Strengths and Weaknesses of Pop-up Scenarios
The fourth, fifth and sixth parts of the questionnaire concerned the three scenarios ‘GapModule’, ‘Life Sharing to Go’ and ‘Beat the Heat’ and specific questions regarding their respective strengths and weaknesses and applicability for international implementation. The participants rated each scenario on a scale from 1 to 5 (from least to most positive) and provided feedback about which aspects they considered especially positive in the scenario (‘adaptability’, ‘modularity’, ‘reusability’, ‘easy mounting and dismounting’, ‘lightweight’, ‘shared spaces’ and ‘other’), with the option of formulating open answers to expound their choices. Feedback was also gathered for each scenario regarding possible drivers for implementation into the local frameworks of the respondents, as well as barriers and challenges (‘legal’, ‘social’, ‘political’, ‘space constraints’, ‘economical’, ‘environmental’, ‘other’), again with the option of complementary open answers. Lastly, the respondents were asked if they could envision the respective scenario in another city aside from Vienna, with the option of elaborating in an open question format. All questions were answered by all 18 respondents with exception of rating the three scenarios (n = 15) and naming a particularly positive aspect for the scenario ‘Beat the Heat’ (n = 16) (Table 4).
‘GapModule’ was given an average rating of 3,9. Four of the respondents (27%) gave it a rating of 5, six rated it as 4 (40%) and five as 3 (33%), making the distribution relatively even across these three ratings. Nobody rated this scenario as 2 or 1. GapModule was well-received by the respondents (Table 5).
Regarding the positive aspects in this scenario, ‘adaptability’ and ‘reusability’ were considered especially positive by most respondents, followed closely by ‘modularity’ and ‘easy mounting and dismounting’. Half of the respondents chose ‘shared spaces’. Only four respondents considered ‘lightweight’ as an especially positive aspect of this model. Regarding this point, it was argued that this scenario does not look temporary, and it involves the use of heavy materials for the structural parts. The ‘tactical use of the vacant spaces’ was emphasised as particularly positive in the open comments, while possible problems of integration between different user groups due to differing needs and schedules were also noted as a potential problem (see Table 6).
Regarding the possible drivers for implementation, a recurring theme was the driver of very limited affordable living space in dense cities. These answers stem primarily from Austria and Switzerland but were also brought up by respondents from Greece and Kosovo. In total, seven answers related to the issues of limited vacant spaces or affordability of housing. Three responses from Serbia, Italy and Portugal stated that there are available unused building gaps which could be utilised in this way. A respondent from South Africa noted the prerequisite of ‘matching national building regulations and municipal by-laws’. Economic drivers are named in three answers by respondents from Switzerland, China and Albania. Some responses named specific user groups as drivers, with refugees being explicitly named in three answers from Australia, Austria and Greece; students being named in three responses from Serbia, Austria and Greece. Immigrants were also named in a response from Austria, and seasonal workers and those affected by natural disasters were named in a response from Australia. An answer from Switzerland mentioned the (cheap) implementation of welfare support structures as a driver for public authorities. One respondent from China spoke of ‘experimental urban projects’, recognising experimentation as a possible driver for temporary housing. One response from Estonia stated that the scenario does not fit into the Estonian context, elaborating this further under the segment on barriers and challenges.
Regarding barriers and challenges for implementation, those most often identified by the respondents were ‘social’ and ‘legal’, with them being chosen seven times each.
The elaborations given for the ‘social’ aspect were very diverse. Three responses voiced concerns over acceptability and the response from neighbours, with one of these focusing on aesthetic or safety aspects (Australia), one referring to possible noise pollution (Austria) and one mentioning concerns about the acceptance by neighbours (Switzerland). A respondent from Portugal voiced the concern that the conceived user mix might have low acceptance. These responses are unsurprising, seeing as this mode of living is directed at a very specific group of individuals who are open to this integrated kind of community living, and is not aimed towards the average citizen. The Estonian respondent who had earlier stated this scenario does not suit the Estonian context elaborated that community living is not culturally present in Estonia, and that refugees are also not a large user group, due to political reasons. This respondent also pointed out that affordability of housing is not really an issue in Estonia, so there is no high demand for temporary solutions. The timespan of the model was mentioned in two responses, with a respondent from Kosovo finding it too short for social integration, considering that community projects may be more appropriate for the limited available space. The respondent from Australia stated that ‘if this space is meant to be used for more than a few months, fewer people are likely to perceive it as desirable due to it’s a temporary notion’, which appears to imply the planned duration being too long. This respondent was also the only one to mention the environmental aspect, calling into question whether temporary solutions can be more environmentally friendly than permanent residences and if this can be communicated effectively.
The elaborations for the ‘legal’ aspect address that legislation can be strict (Switzerland) and that these processes function on a different time-scale than would be required for temporary housing, with the processes being lengthy and not being suited for short-term licenses (Greece and China), legislation being complicated (China), the legal aspects being interwoven with political aspects, such as political will (China), and property relations are mentioned in terms of rights of private land owners (Switzerland). The fact that anything ‘unconventional’ is difficult for legal aspects is also mentioned (Austria).
The elaboration of the ‘space’ aspect includes a response from Switzerland stating that space is limited and very expensive. As already mentioned above, a response from Estonia noted the opposite for their country of residence that enough affordable living space is available. Interestingly, both the lack of space and the lack of need for space are considered barriers. A respondent from Switzerland also mentioned an environmental aspect, noting that unused space gives room for many other species (flora and fauna), which would be an argument against a re-use of these spaces.
The elaboration of ‘environmental’ includes a comment that sewage and water are not universally available in developing countries (South Africa). This means that the model requires off-grid solutions in these cases. A respondent from Australia questioned if this model can be more sustainable than permanent housing. The argument of open spaces catering to flora and fauna was brought up under the aspect ‘space’ but is of course also an environmental issue.
The elaboration of ‘economical’ mentions that building gaps can be very large, which goes hand-in-hand with expenses (Italy). The need for political goodwill by the local government is also brought up (Serbia). The ‘political’ aspect includes the fact that certain user groups, such as refugees, are not always present (see comment from Estonia), that anything ‘unconventional’ can be a great barrier (Austria), and that a political will is required (Serbia and China) (Table 7).
Regarding the possibility to develop this scenario in a context other than the city of Vienna, 15 of the respondents answered with ‘yes’, nobody answered with ‘no’ and three answered with ‘not sure’. In general, many respondents appear to be able to envision this model for bigger cities in central Europe. Cities and areas mentioned by name are Berlin, Rome, Madrid, Zurich (named two times), Milan, Copenhagen, Lille, Brussels, Wädenswil, Munich and Warsaw. Answers also included ‘any large city in Central Europe with a tight market for affordable apartments’, ‘many cities in Portugal’, ‘many, as long as the appropriate local approvals are obtained’, ‘any other city with similar gap spaces’, ‘any growing city’, ‘many regional cities in Australia that have a seasonal population and regions that are prone to natural disasters’. The suitability for students is named twice by respondents from Switzerland and Austria.
Life Sharing to Go
‘Life Sharing to Go’ was given a rating which averaged 3,9. Five respondents gave it a rating of 5, six respondents rated it as 4, two as 3 and two as 2 (Albania and Kosovo). Life Sharing to Go was generally received well by the respondents. While it scored the same as GapModule, the ratings differ in their distribution. More respondents deemed Life Sharing to Go to be ‘very good’, but at the same time, more respondents also had a more critical view.
Regarding the positive aspects in this scenario, ‘adaptability’ was considered especially positive, followed by ‘easy mounting and dismounting’ and ‘shared spaces’. ‘Reusability’ was considered a positive aspect by more than half of the respondents, while ‘modularity’ and ‘lightweight’ were chosen least often (see Table 8).
Regarding possible drivers for implementation, the most mentioned driver was the presence of unused industrial buildings and the idea of reusing or revitalising these spaces (Kosovo, Serbia, Australia, Switzerland, Greece, Portugal). This was followed by the need for affordable housing, named by four respondents (Switzerland, Albania, Estonia). Related to this, one respondent named the scarcity of available housing (Switzerland). Some respondents mentioned specific user groups who could need this type of housing, such as ‘people in need’ (Serbia), ‘the young, not so wealthy people, such as students’ (Estonia), ‘seasonal workers’ and ‘employees of large companies’ (China). Factors relating to changes in urban population, migration and integration were mentioned by respondents from Kosovo and Austria. Drivers which were only mentioned once were ‘economic benefits’ (Albania) and the contribution of ‘creativity and inspiration for occupants’ (Australia). One respondent pointed out that there are municipal by-laws and limits per building according to the National Building Regulations (South Africa), which relates to barriers and challenges. One respondent used the option to specify other aspects, noting ‘big spaces for larger number of people’ (Table 9).
Regarding barriers and challenges for the implementation, the ‘legal’ aspects were identified by the most respondents (a total of nine) as being a barrier or challenge for implementation. Three of the responses pointed to the issue of needing the building owner or site owner to be on board with the realisation of such a project (Portugal, Austria, Italy), noting that incentives would be required. A respondent from Estonia stated that the housing must be affordable in order to be an option in Estonia, and that already existing artistic ‘cultural centre’ projects in privatised post-industrial areas are perceived as being exclusionary. The fact that the industrial sites in this model are also privately owned may be a concern for this reason. As with the last model, the need for government support is named (Serbia). One of the respondents also pointed to COVID-19 making the implementation of shared social spaces difficult (South Africa).
Regarding ‘social’ aspects, five respondents deemed this to be a barrier or challenge for implementation. Acceptance by locals for these kinds of social spaces is brought up by three respondents (Serbia, Switzerland), with a respondent from Switzerland explicitly pointing to the rather reserved nature of the Swiss. Privacy and safety are also named by a participant from Australia as being key challenges. A respondent from Kosovo questions, whether this short time span can even achieve the goal of social integration.
Regarding ‘political’ aspects, four respondents chose this as an important barrier. The comment of the respondent from Estonia regarding the ‘cultural centres’ in privatised post-industrial areas also applies to this dimension. The comment, that politics of affordable housing must be used in this scenario, also applies here. The fact that site owners or building owners need incentives to grant access and use of their properties is also a political question which can be discussed in this context, as is the need for government support. A Swiss respondent states they can imagine that the use of these buildings for non-industrial or non-business purposes could trigger a political discussion.
Three participants chose the ‘economical’ aspect, with a participant from Switzerland pointing out that the maintenance of the abandoned building must be maintained, and investments must be made in this regard. A participant from Greece argued that noted that this model could be suitable for art residents or students. They also point out that this model could be suitable for housing refugees. The third participant who chose this aspect is from Estonia, noting that this type of housing needs to be affordable to be applicable for their country. Nobody chose ‘space constraints’ or ‘environmental’ as important barriers or challenges for the implementation of this project in their local framework. A participant from China mentioned that in their country industrial establishments are usually far from the city, creating a problem of accessibility (Table 10).
Regarding the possibility to develop this scenario in a context other than the city of Vienna, 15 of the respondents answered with ‘yes’, one respondent answered with ‘no’ and two answered with ‘not sure’. Cities and areas mentioned by name are South Italy, London, Novi Sad, Podgorica, Szeged, Berlin, Warsaw. The responses were more general for this example, with most respondents envisioning it for any large cities in Central Europe, with several also stating that they can imagine this being applied anywhere in the world, in post-industrial areas which are close to the city, or gentrified neighbourhoods with old warehouses. One respondent from Austria can even imagine this solution for smaller towns. A respondent from Greece mentions that Greece has large islands where industries used to be operated and are now abandoned.
Beat the Heat
‘Beat the Heat’ was given an average rating of 3,7, scoring 0,2 points lower than the other two scenarios. Four of the respondents gave it a rating of 5, five rated it as 4 and four as 3. One participant rated it as 2 and one person as 1. While Beat the Heat was generally received well by the respondents, two rated it poorly (Switzerland, Austria), and two respondents also abstained from choosing an aspect they find particularly positive about the scenario. This reflects that this scenario did not resonate with all respondents, with some viewing it quite critically (Table 11).
Regarding the positive aspects in this scenario, ‘reusability’ and ‘easy mounting and dismounting’ were considered especially positive, followed by ‘lightweight’, ‘adaptability’ and ‘modularity’. ‘Shared spaces’ was chosen least often, reflecting the fact that this was not a strong focus of the scenario. The elaborations in the comments praise the fact that climate vulnerability is addressed (Australia), the inclusion of especially vulnerable age groups (Estonia), and the fact that the scenario is low energy and has low environmental impact (Austria). The design is also noted as being interesting and the notion of living in a cooler area in nature appears to be appealing (China). Concerns are voiced whether this is an appropriate climate change measure, seeing as it occupies a lot of land per person (Switzerland).
Regarding the possible drivers for the implementation, there appears to be broad agreement on the fact that the increase in heatwaves and heat islands in the course of climate change is a challenge which needs to be addressed, explicitly being named by seven respondents. The need to protect vulnerable people, or people in general, is pointed out by three respondents from Austria and Serbia, which shows that this scenario is recognised as a measure to mitigate risks. Concerns are voiced by a participant from Switzerland that there is a conflict of interest, seeing as space would be occupied which would otherwise serve the public as means for relaxation and leisure. A participant from Italy points out that people would be unhappy to leave their homes. Indeed, while the scenario is currently conceived as a voluntary project, meant to develop solutions for the future, it should not be overlooked that if the climatic situation intensifies and becomes deadlier, this is a measure which could develop to be mandatory. A participant from Australia mentions a few aspects they deemed to be particularly positive, pointing out that this design has low consumption, that it is climate sensitive and that there are no issues with privacy or safety. A participant from Albania identifies private investors and economical drivers as being important possible drivers for implementation, although this is not specified further. Relating to the implementation in their own countries, many respondents appear to identify with the problem of heatwaves (e.g. Italy and Portugal). A respondent from South Africa found this scenario to be applicable in the South African local context. Due to it being so adaptable, even the respondent from Estonia could see it working in their northern context. A point raised by a respondent from China is that ‘this scenario only works in areas which have suitable natural areas (like forests, lakes, parks, trees, streams) in the vicinity’ (Table 12).
Regarding barriers and challenges for the implementation, the aspect ‘space constraints’ was identified by seven respondents, with the respondents believing it is difficult to find an appropriate space, as space is limited and expensive, and it is not easy to find free green areas with good accessibility (Switzerland, Austria). It is also noted critically that occupying space, which is otherwise made available to the public, is a conflict in interest (Serbia, Switzerland).
The aspect ‘social’ was identified by six respondents as being an important barrier for implementation, echoing the concerns already mentioned before, of spaces which are otherwise available to the public, now being used to accommodate a few (Switzerland, Serbia). There seemed to be much hesitation regarding the use of green open spaces for the construction of temporary housing units, as this could create conflicts with the local population, who would feel deprived of such spaces which only serve an advantage to a few users. While this could be justified if the health and safety of the user group is in jeopardy, it is also an option to search for alternatives. For instance, turf could be rolled out at parking lots to create green spaces.
A participant from Italy voiced that he does not believe the people would like this scenario, because they are already used to heatwaves and they would not leave their houses. A respondent from Greece also had concerns, whether people would be willing to leave their homes, stating that it may be possible with the cooperation with professionals working with the elderly, echoing considerations made within the project.
Three participants chose the ‘economical’ aspect as an important barrier, with one elaborating that there is simply no demand (Switzerland). This may be related to this scenario being a pre-emptive measure.
Two respondents chose the ‘environmental’ aspect but did not elaborate further. One respondent who chose ‘other’, however, did bring an environmental argument, stating that open spaces are key resources for handling heatwaves, meaning they should stay unbuilt (Switzerland).
Two respondents chose the ‘political’ aspect, elaborating that there is limited space, and the choice must be made regarding who can be hosted (Kosovo). This could become a critical question, especially if heatwaves become more dangerous to the health of residents.
One participant chose ‘legal’ as an area with important barriers and challenges but did not elaborate further on this. One respondent, who answered with ‘other’, however, brought forth the argument that it will be difficult to obtain a permit to build in a natural area not far from the city, as these areas are usually strictly protected (China). Among the responses in the category ‘other’, a challenge is identified in needing to quickly accommodate a lot of people (Switzerland), the climate type is noted as a big problem, with Nordic countries possibly not struggling with heatwaves to the same extent as more southern countries (Estonia) (Table 13).
Regarding the possibility to develop this scenario in a context other than the city of Vienna, 10 respondents answered with ‘yes’, four responded with ‘no’ and four answered with ‘not sure’, which is substantially lower than for the other scenarios. Cities explicitly named as implementation of this scenario being feasible are as follows: Lausanne, Geneva, Zurich, Paris, Novi Sad, Lille, Brussels, Budapest and Oslo. Suitable areas are identified as southern European cities, Mediterranean climate areas, southern countries and Central Europe, regional areas in Australia affected by fire, flooding, heatwave and air quality changes and coastal areas in New South Wales. Two respondents from Switzerland and Greece could see this scenario being applied across the globe. One respondent from Switzerland, however, did not see this scenario as being particularly relevant to their home country, as heat is not such a big issue in Switzerland. A respondent from China also saw the implementation in their home country critically, stating that this scenario is well-suited for moderate climate, but not for very hot cities with high humidity.
In the seventh and last part of the questionnaire, the participants were asked which was their favourite scenario among the six scenarios defined within the WWTF-funded project. It was possible to select multiple answers and to elaborate the choices. More than half of the participants chose ‘Life Sharing to Go’ as a favourite scenario, followed by the ‘Shop-hopping box’ and then the ‘GapModule’. A total of three respondents chose ‘Beat the Heat’ and ‘DonAutonom’ respectively, and only one respondent chose ‘Life on Track(s)’ as a favourite scenario (Table 14).
The use of vacant or unused industrial buildings for communal living appears to have been very interesting to the participants, being deemed as positive in both ‘Life Sharing to Go’ and ‘Shop-hopping box’. When regarding the most popular scenario, ‘Life Sharing to Go’, affordability was also mentioned as a strong suit, with one participant deeming it the most inclusive scenario, as well as the one which would be easiest to implement. One participant noted that there are no conflicting uses, which must be considered as a positive factor. Other positive factors which were brought up were the central location, the visibility raising awareness of the ‘different (and sometimes unequal) temporalities each of us can occupy in the city’, and the ease with which the structure can be mounted and dismounted.
A total of four people chose the ‘GapModule’ as their favourite scenario, finding it to be a project which can easily and quickly be implemented, which is applicable to the local context, has a high acceptability, and which resembles already existing projects (in this case the Pop-Up dorms in Vienna, Austria). Great appeal was found in the use of abandoned areas to increase value and maintain the infrastructure. It was pointed out that due to a lack of funds, abandoned buildings tend not to be maintained or redeveloped, but by reusing them for short periods, this could be an economic solution to the problem. The social aspect also appears to have appealed to many participants, often in the combination with the attributes of there being much space and that it can be used for many purposes. It is noted that this is a solution for young people who make the conscious choice to live this way. It is seen as a way to solve the shortage of affordable housing.
A total of three people chose ‘Beat the Heat’ as their favourite scenario, whereby one participant chose every other scenario, except for Beat the Heat, with the argument that it is the least practical and useful. Another participant, however, argues that it is driven by a real need and is a well-suited scenario for temporary contexts. The affordability is also noted as a positive aspect of the scenario, making it an inclusive project. One participant, who is an urban climatologist in Australia, emphasises that the scenario can contribute to saving many lives in vulnerable communities, calling it ‘a great solution for climate adaptability’. The fact that ‘Beat the Heat’ scored very low overall could be related to the nature of ‘Beat the Heat’ as more of a pre-emptive risk management endeavour, which contains uncomfortable notions of vulnerable individuals, such as the elderly, being pressured out of their homes through outside forces (in this case climate), making it hard to envision. It is also much more difficult to imagine possible future scenarios for something which has not taken place in recent history, such as heatwaves climbing to such extremes, that these types of measures become relevant countermeasures. The scenarios ‘GapModule’ and ‘Life Sharing to Go’, however, contain user groups and situations with greater familiarity, such as people affected by homelessness and refugees with positive asylum status. As for the scenarios not yet in the modelling phase, ‘Shop-Hopping Box’ was regarded particularly positively, due to the reuse of vacant spaces. The scenario was praised for there being no conflicting uses, many retail spaces being vacant, its affordability, the central location and visibility, easy mounting/dismounting operations and no need to occupy other spaces. A total of three respondents chose ‘DonAutonom’ as their favourite scenario, noting that the reuse of old ships is a good idea for a more circular world. One person chose ‘Life on Track(s)’ as their favourite scenario but did not elaborate this further. This was, however, the same individual who chose each scenario, except Beat the Heat. This scenario therefore did not appear to hold much appeal for any of the participants.
When asked if they would live in one of these pop-up environments, 13 of the participants answered ‘yes’, four answered ‘no’ and one abstained. The elaborations of the positive answers showed a strong interest in temporary housing and in communal life. The motivations vary greatly, with some participants stating that they would only do so if the situation required (for instance due to a heatwave or a disaster event), or that they would consider these options in order to save money, or as a good affordable alternative for their lifestyle which involves a lot of moving. A surprising number, however, appear to be interested in temporary housing not out of need, but out of a curiosity of how the experience compares to more traditional housing situations and what benefits can be found in respect to social interactions, freedoms, living climate or reducing environmental impacts. The idea of sharing living space appealed to some of the participants, who believe they would enjoy the experience. Others, on the other hand, viewed the scenarios with sharing concepts as having issues with privacy or safety, and would not voluntarily live in such an environment. Some note these scenarios as perhaps being more suited for younger people than for families who want to settle and have their own private space, with one participant stating: ‘but this might also shift in the future’.
The participants were asked about what keyword they took with them from the session, with the most chosen keyword being ‘adaptability’, followed by the related term ‘modularity’. Another related term which was mentioned is ‘flexible’. Another thematic block seems to surround the topic of environmental sustainability, consisting of the terms ‘circular city concepts’, ‘circular economy’, ‘social and sustainable housing’, ‘reuse’ (chosen twice) and ‘sustainability’. The social dimension also appears to have stuck with many participants, with keywords involving ‘social interaction’, ‘inclusive and exclusive landscapes’, ‘affordable’, ‘social and sustainable housing’ and ‘temporary community’. The temporary nature of housing is common in another set of keywords, consisting of ‘pop-up’, ‘pop-up buildings’, ‘pop-up housing’, ‘temporary housing’, ‘temporary pop-up housing’ and ‘temporary community’. Three keywords which do not fit into any of these loose categories were ‘solution’, ‘inspiring’ and ‘category of housing’.