Warsaw Rebuilt: Incorporating Affordable Housing by Design
There is little credible argument against the need for affordable housing throughout the world. In many countries, the poor struggle to find structurally sound housing that is safe, affordable and in a desirable location. Those countries that seek to build affordable housing struggle with forced integration of existing neighborhoods, struggle against preexisting social structures that are not supportive of the poor, and struggle against established cultural traditions that resist the changes that are required to expand affordable housing. However, when a society has the opportunity to build a new city, will affordable housing be incorporated in the design? Will the redesign of this new city create the same wealth segregation, economic structures, and preexisting conditions that ultimately lead to the need for affordable housing, or will this new city be designed to incorporate affordable housing as an integral part?This Article offers a short examination of Warsaw, Poland, a city utterly destroyed by the Germans in World War II and later occupied by the Soviet Union. Warsaw, after the fall of the Soviet Union, is quickly rebuilding and has the opportunity to design the city to incorporate affordable housing as a central and permanent part of the city and to create a mixed-income society where all residents have a place. Part I of this Article provides an overview of the global need for affordable housing. Part II provides a brief summary of a portion of Warsaw’s history that precipitated its destruction. Part III discusses Warsaw’s current redevelopment. Part IV offers a framework for Warsaw to rebuild its city by integrating affordable housing into the city’s redevelopment.
Lawton, Julie, Warsaw Rebuilt: Incorporating Affordable Housing by Design (2015). Studia Luridica (University of Warsaw), October 2015.