‘Bold move’ scheme proposed by WG 1, showing the design ideas of improving the open space network, environmental quality, common spaces, backyards of buildings and building the new row houses to develop a self-finance method for the refurbishment of Ümitköy Sitesi. © Authors and workshop participants, 2022.
Improving the Quality of Life and Sustainability for Middle-Class Mass Housing

Perspectives from a Stakeholder Workshop


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participatory planning and design, stakeholder workshop, middle-class mass housing, sustainability, quality of life, co-creation


This article presents and discusses the results of the Stakeholder Workshop (Co) Designing for Quality of Life: Exploring Challenges and Opportunities, which was held at Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara in October 2022 in the framework of the COST Action CA18137 European Middle Class Mass Housing (MCMH-EU). The workshop aimed to discover the possibilities of participatory design as a tool to address the necessary updating of the housing complexes of the Modern Movement (MoMo). The workshop, which was conducted on a cooperative housing estate, namely Ümitköy Sitesi, Ankara, Türkiye (1970), was carried out in five groups with members of different nationalities, ages, and experiences. This article argues that the public and private strategies which were followed to rehabilitate these complexes by focusing on the technical problems (construction pathologies, energy inefficiency, accessibility, parking, among others) tend to neglect, even ignore, the diverse social aspects involved. As a group of participants of this workshop, the authors of this article consider the involvement of all parties (experts, residents, housing management cooperative, and municipality) in the improvement processes of such middle-class mass housing sites as the key instrument to make these neighborhoods more inclusive and sustainable. This article evaluates the Stakeholder Workshop’s co-design performance as an instrument to improve the Quality of life (QoL) and sustainability of the neighborhood. The critical analysis of the workshop results leads to several significant conclusions: Social aspirations do not always coincide with political and technical ones; technical rehabilitations are not sufficient for the total improvement of QoL and sustainability of communities; (Co-)Design may have to be approached from different perspectives and, consequently, have different results; citizens have a great potential to participate and contribute to the improvement of QoL with innovative ideas and actions of different scales. However, the socioeconomic diversity of the inhabitants and restrictive legislation are the difficulties to be considered.

How to Cite

AKKAR ERCAN, M., BECH-DANIELSEN, C., ESTAJI, H., GOYCOOLEA-PRADO, R., HAUMONT, B., IOANNOU, B., NICOLAOU, L., NUÑEZ-MARTÍ, P., & SUBIC, S. (2023). Improving the Quality of Life and Sustainability for Middle-Class Mass Housing: Perspectives from a Stakeholder Workshop. Docomomo Journal, (68), 65–75. https://doi.org/10.52200/docomomo.68.07




Author Biographies

MUGE AKKAR ERCAN, Middle East Technical University

Müge Akkar Ercan, Urban Planner (Middle East Technical University-METU), MSc in Urban Policy Planning and Local Governments (METU), Ph.D. (Newcastle University), Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at METU. Author of Regeneration, Heritage and Sustainable Communities in Turkey: Challenges, Complexities and Potentials (2020, Routledge). Wrote several articles in international and national journals, book chapters, and proceedings on urban design, public spaces, urban regeneration and conservation, sustainable community development, sustainable urbanism, walkability, social cohesion, and inclusion.

CLAUS BECH-DANIELSEN, Aalborg University

Claus Bech-Danielsen(Denmark 1961), architect Ph.D., Professor, Aalborg University. Holds several positions of trust in the Scandinavian research community, chairman of Think Tanks, and has received awards for his research. In his research, Bech-Danielsen studies the field between architectural space and social space. Special focus on social and environmental sustainability in housing architecture. Bech-Danielsen is currently (2019-2030) head of research in a major research project that follows the physical transformations in the 15 most disadvantaged housing areas in Denmark.

HASSAN ESTAJI, Hakim Sabzevari University

Hassan Estaji, Architect, Doctor of Technical Science from University of Applied Arts Vienna (2016), Assistant Professor at the Architecture and Urbanism Department Hakim Sabzevari University. Wrote several articles on Sustainable Architecture, Flexibility, and Adaptability in Architecture and Housing Design.

ROBERTO GOYCOOLEA-PRADO, Universidad de Alcalá

Roberto Goycoolea-Prado. Architect (Technical State University, Chile, 1983). Urban sociology Diploma; Ph.D. Architect (Madrid Polytechnic University, Madrid,1992). Founder and first Dean of the Architecture School, University of Alcalá (1999-2004). Since 1999, Senior Professor of Architectural Analysis. He has carried out projects (of ideas and built) and taught in different countries, and has carried out research focused mainly on the conception, configuration, and use of living space, in publications in Europe, America, and Africa.


Bernard Haumont, Ph.D., Sociologist, Emeritus Professor, Paris-Val de Seine National School of Architecture, Centre de Recherche sur l’Habitat, Paris. Developed numerous researches about architects and their clients, and directed a research program on architectural and urban design with a European perspective: EuroConception. Author of several books and articles, e.g., La Société des Visions: Partager un Habitat Collectif (2005), Architecture modern en Province (1987), Figures salariales et Socialisation de L’architecture (1985), L’immeubles (1988), L’Histoire: Approaches and Connexions (1990), Architecture communale la maîtrise d’oeuvre intégrée (1986).

BYRON IOANNOU, Frederick University

Byron Ioannou is an Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Architecture at Frederick University Cyprus. He is the lead researcher of the Urban Planning and Development Unit (UPDU). He studied Architecture and Planning at the National Technical University of Athens (March, MSc, Ph.D.) and Planning Law at Leeds Beckett University (PgCert). His current research focuses on the sustainable built environment, SDG goals and spatial planning, affordable housing and inclusive development, urban design and mobility, planning legislation, and practice.

LORA NICOLAOU, Frederick University

Lora Nicolaou, Professor at the Department of Architecture at Frederick University Cyprus. Architect and planner with extensive experience in the UK, Ireland, The Netherlands, and Cyprus on Urban Planning, Urban Design, and Strategic Briefing Projects at different scales. Taught before at Oxford Brookes University and was the Head of Research at the Urban Renaissance Institute at the University of Greenwich, London. Was included in urban planning works and regeneration strategies for many European cities, such as Rotterdam, Dublin, London, Utrecht, and Cambridge.

PAZ NUÑEZ-MARTÍ, Universidad de Alcalá

Paz Núñez-Martí. Ph.D. Architect (Madrid Polytechnic University, UPM). Technical specialist in Cooperation to the Development (UPM) and Recovery and rehabilitation of the Heritage (UPM). Architecture Professor at University of Alcalá School of Architecture (UAH, 2002-now). Coordinates the Habitat and Territory area of the Research Group applied to development cooperation COOPUAH. During the last period (2015-2019) had combined her teaching duties with the position of Technical Advisor of the Madrid City Council for Cañada Real slum.

SANJIN SUBIC, University of Novi Sad

Sanjin Subic, MSc, practicing architect and urban planner in Serbia. Implemented a number of projects aiming to reach Sustainable Development Goals. Main fields of expertise include stakeholder management in projects focusing on increasing community resilience.


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