Scientific & Technological Cooperation Programme Switzerland - Rio de Janeiro (STCPSRJ) / Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)

Cooperative Production of Low-Cost Housing – Socio-Technological Innovation for the

Provision of Housing for Low-Income Populations


The bilateral research project ‘Cooperative Production of Low-Cost Housing – Socio-Technological Innovation for the Provision of Housing for Low-Income Populations’ investigates previous and current practices of affordable housing production in order to detect the transformative potential of urban development based on community organizations and the formation of cooperatives. Following the objective to establish viable models for cooperative housing production in the future, the collaboration between researchers in Switzerland and Brazil identifies key players, institutional protocols and technological frameworks necessary to foster innovative approaches within the low-income housing sector. Against the backdrop of the world’s largest social housing program ‘Minha Casa, Minha Vida’ (MCMV) and the development of cooperative housing in Switzerland, Germany, Japan, and Ethiopia, the research is tracing connections across historical and regional contexts aiming at the analysis of the political, social and economic conditions enabling innovation in cooperative low-income housing production as well as the improvement of architectural and urban design quality as a whole. While case studies from different regional contexts—ranging from developing through emerging to developed countries—serve for the analysis of various constellations between institutional and private stakeholders, particular attention is paid to housing provision that is co-produced and/or comanaged by communities and self-organizing entities. Accordingly, the research project investigates the influence of (national and transnational) institutional frameworks on local building practice and therefore engages in an interdisciplinary, as well as transdisciplinary, dialogue assembling knowledge from the field of architecture, urban planning, sociology, political economy. By drawing on the experience of selected case studies, the research goal is to provide organizational models that would promote innovation for context specific cooperative housing production, as well as for its transfer and scaling across regional boundaries.



Sascha Delz

Rainer Hehl