Build back better? Post-pandemic housing and residential architecture

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Previous pandemics have played a major role in the development of modern architecture, housing and urban planning, but what will be the long-term effects of Covid19 on our built environment and residential architecture? The pandemic reintroduced distancing, space, fresh air, hygiene and cleanliness as important dimensions of everyday life, and domestic space played a pivotal role, as most countries requested their citizens to stay home. Series of lockdowns thus severely influenced our ways of working and living, organizing and using the home, sharing spaces and delimiting private from public, relating to neighbours, local communities and surroundings etc, but will any of these changes leave lasting imprints in our everyday life and built environments? Several authors have argued that we ought to regard the pandemic as a grey swan that will likely cause radical lasting changes (Krastev 2020), that no turning to normality is possible (Zizek 2020), and that the pandemic is not to be seen as a crisis but rather as a condition (Latour 2021). OECD and other stakeholders and policymakers have also argued that we in the wake of the pandemic must find ways to ‘build back better’ – hence not just return to business as usual to restore economies and livelihoods quickly, but also in this process increase society’s sustainability and resilience (OECD, 2020). Yet, in Denmark at the time of writing, everything seems to be more or less back to normal. Based on a literature review of Covid19 effects on housing and architecture, this paper discusses what can be learned from the pandemic, and how we may study its long-term effects on residential architecture and built environments.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationENHR Barcelona 2022 : Book of Abstracts
PublisherEuropean Network for Housing Research, ENHR
Publication date1 Sept 2022
Article number65649
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2022
EventENHR Conference 2022 - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 30 Sept 20212 Sept 2022


ConferenceENHR Conference 2022
Internet address


  • Housing
  • Residential
  • Architechture


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