Saving The Future Through Housing: An Exploration of the Influence of Housing Policies on Contemporary Cohousing Practices

52  Download (0)

Full text


Supervisor: Herman Kok

Course: Master Thesis Urban and Regional Planning Author: Max Savonije

Date of Submission: 20-06-2022 Student number: 13267345 Word count: 17110

Saving The Future Through Housing: An Exploration of the Influence of Housing Policies on Contemporary

Cohousing Practices



To begin, I would like to thank several people for contributing to this study. First of all, I would like to thank my thesis supervisor Herman Kok and my 2nd reader Tuna Taşan-Kok. Herman has guided me during the entire thesis period, and he has helped me very much; I have also learned several things from him for my personal development. I want to thank Tuna for the guidance in the preparation. I will look back on this period as an intensive but especially instructive and enjoyable one.

I would also like to thank the people from CPB, the municipality of Amsterdam, and Amvest who participated in the interviews. Without them, I could not have collected the data I needed to conclude.



Foreword ... 2

Abstract ... 4

1. Introduction ... 5

1.1 Problem Statement and Motive ... 5

1.2 Aims, Objective, and Research Question ... 6

2. Theoretical Framework ... 7

2.1 Introduction ... 7

2.2 Theorizing Contemporary Cohousing ... 7

2.3 The Core Theoretical Framework: Mismatch Between Housing Policies and Cohousing Initiatives ... 10

2.4 Theoretical Framework and Research Questions ... 12

3. Methodology ... 13

3.1 Research Strategy and Design: Introduction to Meso Analysis ... 13

3.2 Macro Analysis as a Translator into Housing Policies ... 13

3.3 Meso Analysis Serving as a Mediator ... 14

3.3 Micro Analysis: The Connection to Practice ... 16

3.4 Contextualising the research ... 17

3.5 Data Collection: Qualitative Methods Used ... 17

3.5 Conceptual framework ... 21

3.6 Methodological Limitations and Reflections ... 21

3.7 Ethical Considerations ... 22

4. Results and Analysis: Influence of Policies ... 23

4.1 Introduction ... 23

4.2 Approach from The National Government: From Macro Issues to Policy and Practice ... 23

4.3 Approach from Municipality of Amsterdam: From Macro Issues to Policy and Practice ... 28

4.4 Practices of a Developer: The Influence of Housing Policies and Commoning ... 34

4.4 Actor Network Analyse ... 37

5. Results and Analysis: Funneling Contemporary Cohousing Initiatives & Areas of Improvement (Recommendations) ... 40

5.1 The Funnel of Contemporary Cohousing: From Macro Through Meso to Micro ... 40

5.2 Areas of Improvement: Recommendations ... 43

References ... 44

Appendices ... 49

Appendix I: Document Interviews ... 49



As socioeconomic developments continue faster than ever and the environment continues to deteriorate, there is a growing body of knowledge in the literature about a different way for people to live. This literature bases this way of living on the principles of the new commons, and in this, the shared interest is central.

This way of living is that of Cohousing, a form of living in which the new common principles are translated.

The process of developing a cohousing initiative up to its occupation is organized democratically and bottom-up, and the sharing of resources and equality are central to this. Based on the conviction that contemporary cohousing initiatives can offer a way out of adverse environmental and socio-economic developments, this research attempts to gain a deeper insight into how a national and local housing policy process can influence the development of these innovative housing forms. Based on empirical findings, in combination with policy analysis and in-depth interviews with key stakeholders who determine or depend on housing policy, it is considered how (co)houses in Amsterdam are created in a highly complex network with changing public-private relationships.


1. Introduction

1.1 Problem Statement and Motive

Contemporary Europe faces many socio-economic and environmental challenges that spread across different layers of society. Although planners from all over Europe are confronted with similar missions, which address those socio-economic and environmental challenges, each planning context predominantly varies spatially and socially, making the planning process a complex task (Horelli, 2017). In the last two decades, a trend in planning literature can be seen where “new commons” are considered. Briefly described, new commons refer to varying shared resources that are recognized as or have developed into commons (Hess, 2008). The research that has been done over recent years regarding new commons emphasizes that the new commons attest to a crucial way for theorizing approaches. These approaches address the contemporary social dilemmas and climate challenges while considering the planning context (Hess, 2008;

Marcuse, 2009).

The concepts of the new commons are also used as a tool to discover new forms of housing. The state of housing that parallels the principles of the new commons is contemporary collaborative housing (“cohousing”). This is a trend where new living conditions change the predominant ways of living, and it challenges housing concepts to constantly adapt to the changing social, economic, and environmental needs (Tummers, 2015; Sargisson, 2012). Cohousing is traditionally described as a collectively built and self- managed housing cluster, but nowadays, it contains a much broader definition where societal trends such as decentralization, more self-reliability, and customized demand form the fundamental pillars (Vestbro, 2010; Tummers, 2015). These pillars exhibit similarities with the post-capitalist reinvented neoliberal principles that many scholars and commoners are taking a stand toward, emphasizing the priority of political, socio-economic, and environmental equity (Stavrides, 2016; Tummers, 2015; Clement et al., 2019).

As mentioned in the first paragraph, each planning context's social and spatial variation makes the planning process a complex task. Still, this context needs to be understood sufficiently to develop adequate and contemporary appropriate cohousing. Cohousing can be seen as a true-life expression of the new commons and thus as an addresser for socio-economic challenges, but this makes cohousing also an expression of a complex arena with heterogeneous groups from wide-ranging social classes with different preferences regarding their living requirements (Hess, 2008; Tummers, 2016). From the literature, it becomes clear that cohousing can serve as a solution to social dilemmas, sustainability, and degradation. To achieve this, one must understand the various social and spatial aspects of a specific planning context.


1.2 Aims, Objective, and Research Question

This thesis tends to provide a deeper understanding of the spatial-socio dynamics of cohousing initiatives with a focus on the development of policy so that more evident context-specific models can be created to consider contemporary cohousing initiatives. Since the concurrently re-emergence of cohousing over the last decades, especially in Scandinavia and countries like Germany or The Netherlands, the existing literature on cohousing emphasizes the need for universally recognized conception and technical solutions for cohousing so the initiatives can be transferred to another country (Beck, 2020; Daly, 2017; Tummers, 2015).

But harmonizing concepts and engineering for cohousing initiatives is a complex process since the qualification of different urban areas ranges enormously due to differing planning contexts and national and local urban policies (Tummers, 2015). It can be inferred that coming up with an accurate model for easily transferable cohousing initiatives can be complex and challenging. Still, a framework that recognizes the highly complex planning context and the effect of varying policies could contribute to a more context- specific, universally helpful approach.

By examining the entire process of housing policy development from the national level to the local level, both influenced by independent macro factors, this research seeks to provide a deeper understanding of how housing policy processes affect contemporary cohousing initiatives in Amsterdam. The policy of the Dutch government is held alongside the policy of the municipality of Amsterdam, and it will be considered how this comparison translates to housing development with a particular focus on contemporary cohousing initiatives. Through this approach, this research seeks to create a more complete picture of how policymaking relates to housing development in Amsterdam and provide a way of researching that is also applicable in other contexts to reach conclusions. This has led to the following main objectives of this research:

1. To examine and consider the housing policy-making process of the national government and Amsterdam municipality and how they relate. This should reveal the influence of both the process and the outcomes of housing policy on developing contemporary cohousing.

2. Offering a possible way to policymakers or urban planners to consider a policy that applies in multiple contexts and how to proceed.

This has led to the following research question:

How are contemporary co-housing initiatives influenced by the changing housing policies of local and national governments and the changing public-private relations?


2. Theoretical Framework

2.1 Introduction

The way contemporary co-housing initiatives in Amsterdam are designed is shaped for a significant part by the housing policies of the national and local governments. The demand from the future residents based on how they want to live together should be the main drive when designing a co-housing initiative. Still, the question arises of whether existing housing policies are conducive to the co-housing demands from those who will live there in the future (Droste, 2015). Contemporary co-housing forms are co-living initiatives where social inclusivity and shared living are critical principles embedded in a sustainable developed and used building (Tummers, 2015). Making housing policies is complex because of the static historical and cultural foundations of housing development in an ever-faster-changing world (Winston & Eastaway, 2008).

By recognizing the challenging and complex context of the varying local housing policies, this thesis attempts to contribute to a more all-encompassing approach to making more housing policies more suited for contemporary and future cohousing. The following paragraphs will outline relevant literature regarding the subjects to provide a deeper understanding of how cohousing and local policies have evolved within a constantly changing complex web.

2.2 Theorizing Contemporary Cohousing

To start with, this section will analyze the more general literature regarding cohousing which is at the root of co-housing initiatives and policies. The contemporary literature emphasizes the re-emergence of co- housing with similar driving forces from ‘Rurbanizing’ and ‘New Commons’ trends, which refer to various types of shared resources in the central countries of Western Europe (Tummers, 2015; Hess, 2008).

Examples of these driving forces differ for each country since the variety of planning contexts. Still, they mostly have in common that sustainability and the need to live together with new generations form the fundamental pillars for initiatives, which lead to social networks and healthy environments (Tummers, 2015;

Tummers, 2016). Furthermore, societal trends such as decentralization, growing self-governance, and more context-specific solutions for living provide an increasing demand for co-housing initiatives (Tummers, 2016). Before the mentioned trends started to rise in Western Europe at the start of the twenty-first century, individual owner-occupied housing units in primarily suburban areas dominated the planning culture and practice, which led to specific policies and housing initiatives that created standardized plots where private (individual) and public (institutional) concerns were strictly separated.


2.2.1 Transformation of Communal Thoughts to Contemporary Cohousing Back To The Roots

In the 20th century, there were already several ways of thinking regarding common ways of living. Many studies were already philosophizing about communal ways of living in a broader socio-economic context.

Some significant contributions come from the urban historian and poet Dolores Hayden. In her book Seven American Utopias (1977), she explored how 19th-century communalistic experiments arose from different social ideals and resulted in effective spatial interventions. These differing social ideals were inspired by the garden city ideals, machine ideals, and feminist thoughts of optimal housing. Together with the effective spatial interventions, this resulted in a practical tool for considering the occurrence of later collective living initiatives. Another relevant book by Dolores Hayden is Redesigning the American Dream (1984), which covers the broader socio-economic context of collaborative living initiatives and establishes an analytical foundation for collective housing research. The model designed in this book, which debated spatial and urban elements of collaborative living initiatives, has also been relevant in the European context. However, the European spatial and urban contexts differ significantly from the American (Vestbro, 2000). A helpful example of where Hayden’s model is applied in the European context is that of Fromm (1991), where the researcher analysis collective ways of living and discusses the spatial and urban elements of Sweden, Denmark, and The Netherlands (Vestbro, 2000). Although the norm of community living has only become more dominant in recent decades, there were already relevant streams of thought in the previous century that seem to have played a significant part in establishing the forms of community living which are known today.

Towards Contemporary Cohousing

After the 20th century, the consideration of collective living initiatives within a specific context resulted in new contemporary forms of living that would change the predominant ways of living. The concepts and models around joint living initiatives evolved into a more present state, namely the idea of Collaborative housing (Co-housing). Co-housing is an abbreviation for collectively built and self-managed housing clusters (Vestbro, 2010). The concept contains a self-organized living concept where inhabitants play a significant role in the living space's development and property management. The article of Tummers (2015) argues that co-housing can only be fully understood when considering the planning context. The planning context consists of a very broad specter with a lot of different but most of the time coherent aspects such as national policies, historical and cultural elements, and institutions. Much research that has been done on co-housing points out cases from very different planning contexts without considering the planning context, which leads to co-housing models that cannot be adequately understood (Tummers, 2015). So it is essential to consider the interaction between spatial-socio dynamics in every case to create more evident context-specific models.


Nevertheless, the existing empirical studies and research prove how co-housing can contribute to sustainability and, by doing so, create vital urban environments (Krokfors, 2012). The studies show that co- housing can represent a form of ‘bottom-up urbanism’ where residents keep governance in their neighborhoods, leading to more suitable contemporary demographic and environmental developments (Kramer & Kuhn, 2009). To accomplish these necessary contemporary developments, the role of local authorities is vital for inclusive co-housing (Droste, 2015).

2.2.2 The Broad Context Of Contemporary Cohousing

Lifestyle & community

While serving as a highly ideologically steered community, cohousing is considered in many empirical studies as a part of societal and environmental change. For example, in Metcalf's research (2004) about the development of eco-villages, he describes that this form of communal living can be seen as an intentional community where reaching social justice and peace can be achieved through making the environment of the eco-village sustainable. This aligns with the characteristics of cohousing initiatives, where participation and sustainability are an established part of the innovative housing trend. The development takes place in different contexts, and each cohousing initiative has unique characteristics, complicating the entire planning process. Components of the planning process include arranging to finance, forming a collaborative team, and obtaining a piece of land. In addition, the local or national government must also cooperate by issuing permits for a relatively unknown form of housing, which complicates the process. Thus, planners need to learn to consider and understand the more general principles so that it is possible to implement innovative housing forms in different contexts better (Tummers, 2015: Metcalf, 2004: Meltzer, 2000).

The more general principles that apply to cohousing initiatives translate through changing lifestyles to a specific context (Tummers, 2015). The changing lifestyles that influence particular cohousing initiatives relate primarily to demographics and changing structures of both families and gender. For example, Labit (2015) discusses that there are French policymakers who advocate for cohousing initiatives where multiple generations can live together so that, for example, young people can care for the elderly. But Choi (2004) emphasizes that these kinds of structures cannot be seen as a replacement for nursing homes and that self- reliance has very fragile limits. The default relationship between families and gender is also explored in the literature on cohousing in recent years, as cohousing sometimes calls for a different division of roles within households where mainly the part of women changes (Vestbro, 2010: Horelli & Vespä, 1994: Vestbro &

Horelli, 2012). This has emerged from studies done mainly in Scandinavia. In contrast, Metcalf's (2004) case studies in countries such as Brazil and Germany show that men and women follow traditional gender roles in cohousing initiatives. So, with the existing literature, it is not yet possible to say anything conclusive about this, but it does provide an interesting angle for considering the cohousing context.



Architecture can be seen as an expression of ideas; this is the case with cohousing, where the design is decisive for creating the desired communal outcomes and correctly implementing sustainability principles (Fromm, 1991). The design literature is very concerned with how the layout can influence social interaction;

to promote this, shared spaces are essential, and therefore a specific density must be created (Bouma &

Voorbij, 2008). On the other hand, too much density can hurt the desired social interaction (Williams, 2005).

There is not necessarily a generic way in which the design process of cohousing should be shaped; what is essential here is to achieve the desired synergy between future residents and the designers. This leads to better cooperation and less friction, making the development process much more efficient and effective (Meltzer, 2000; Williams, 2005). This also has two sides since it is also important that professionals can fulfill their role without too much hindrance and external influences. Thus, during the development process of a cohousing initiative, finding the right balance regarding the division of roles is extra challenging, where a dominant top-down structure is not workable but is also essential that the development remains feasible (Vanleene et al., 2020).

Given the fast-changing housing landscape, going from the outdated individual owner-occupied housing units to contemporary co-housing concepts that are very context-specific, urban development and planning processes need to be reviewed. In addition, stakeholders need to be repositioned due to the changing, more interrelated interests of private and institutional actors (Droste and Knorr-Siedow, 2012).

2.3 The Core Theoretical Framework: Mismatch Between Housing Policies and Cohousing Initiatives

2.3.1 Neoliberal Influences

Even though communal housing development has been occurring since the 19th century, the development of cohousing and all the theory surrounding it in recent years stand out in terms of its speed compared to the decades before. However, the fact that more knowledge and approach is available does not make dissecting cohousing any less complex; in fact, it is noticeable that the different contexts in which cohousing initiatives are developed make the whole theory more challenging to apply. In addition, cohousing originated from the need to live more together. Still, today it is also seen as a solver for societal challenges such as climate, housing shortage, and achieving inclusiveness. The housing policies pursued in many Western countries testify in some cases that a country or region is willing to adopt less centralized and more flexible policies conducive to the development of cohousing. Still, many more deeply rooted principles in countries' governance have a non-promoting influence (Rolnik, 2013). These principles often stem from the market model of neoliberalism, where the housing policy is very much focused on individual home ownership.


This is accompanied by a rational distribution of housing mainly driven by certain experimental financial products; in this way of policy making, the whole social idea of housing and society's wealth distribution is left behind (Rolnik, 2013). A complex collision with a strongly formed network of national housing cooperatives with more social foundations resulted from developing policies conducive to market forces and commodification (Brenner & Theodore, 2002; Rolnik, 2013). Since the financial crisis of 2008, which is argued to have been triggered by the neoliberal principles of housing policy just discussed, governments have begun to look differently at political and ideological strategies, which in turn were to influence housing policy (Wallison & Cato, 2010; Stockhammer, 2001). But Rolnik (2013) argues that despite the changing outlook of governments after the financial crisis, "The reform of housing policies - with all its components of homeownership, private property, and binding financial commitments - has been central to the political and ideological strategies through which the dominance of neoliberalism is maintained." From this, it can be concluded that certain aspects of neoliberalism have a lasting influence on housing policy in Western society and that the promotion of the ideals that cohousing can express today has been inhibited by it.

2.3.2 Linkage Between Urban Commons and Contemporary Cohousing

In the research field of cohousing initiatives, it is often endorsed that the principles of cohousing have much community with the principles of the new commons (Chatterton, 2016). Cohousing offers a translation of the social nature of the new commons into a spatial intervention. According to Chatterton (2016), the new commons emerge from two recent streams of ideas, post-capitalism and transition thinking. Post-capitalism refers mainly to the period of looking beyond the capitalist dominance that prevailed before the credit crisis in 2008. Instead, it focuses mainly on energy, climate, and social problems. Transition thinking focuses on how change occurs and how it can also be applied to manage change outcomes better. In this way, commons are viewed more as something dynamic and abstract. Williams (2017) discovered in a study how the new commons could be translated to urban commons allowing property-related contemplation using new commons. He concludes that focusing on common property and development practices can define urban commons. By establishing and assessing a set of criteria for considering how new commons can be perceived, it is possible to gain deeper insights into the dynamics of the entire context of a property. In his article, he does this through three practices: access & use, benefit, and care & responsibility. Access & Use examines who has access to a property and can use it on a scale ranging from completely private to public.

The benefit is about who benefits from a property, this can be in tangible form such as finances, but a non- tangible form such as acquiring relationships is also possible. The more the benefits are shared, the more it aligns with the principles of the new commons. Finally, Williams (2017) offers an example to consider the care and responsibility of a property and its community; this revolves around who is responsible for the maintenance of both tangible aspects, such as the building, and intangible elements of a property, such as maintaining the community. A constantly shared care and responsibility are essential for maintaining new commons.


Altogether, it becomes clear from the literature that the planning context, which contains a broad spectrum with many different aspects, must be understood sufficiently to develop adequate co-housing forms.

Furthermore, the literature recognizes the significant role that policies play in co-housing development and that local authorities are essential for inclusive co-housing that meet contemporary challenges such as sustainability.

2.4 Theoretical Framework and Research Questions

The literature review that was conducted led to the following theoretical framework:

Figure 1: Theoretical Framework (Savonije, 2022)

This has led to the following research question:

How are contemporary co-housing initiatives influenced by the changing housing policies of local and national governments and the changing public-private relations?

With sub-questions:

1. What is the influence of the identified macro issues on housing policies in The Netherlands?

2. How do the stakeholders within the network of housing policy-making processes in the Netherlands relate to each other?

3. How do housing policies and the principles of contemporary cohousing express themselves in a developer's practices?

Housing Policy Process

Hypothesis: shortage of contemporary and

future proof co- housing initiatives due

to slowing policies 

Hypothesis: lagging of sufficient demand meeting

co-housing forms due to misunderstanding between governments and initiaters

Negative co-housing

development Shortage of contemporary co-housing initiatives Macro issues


3. Methodology

3.1 Research Strategy and Design: Introduction to Meso Analysis

To analyze the changing nature of housing policies from local governments and how these policies are implemented, meso analysis provides an empirical scope for gathering valuable insights (Lowe & Stuart, 2004). Meso-analysis focuses on how a problem comes to be on the agenda of national and local governments and uses theories to explain how this problem has developed. This type of analysis starts with the exploration of macro issues, the issues that are at the root of the emergence of specific housing policies, examples of these issues are in the case of co-housing, the unaffordability and sustainability of dwellings that come forth out of respectively economic and environmental influences (Meltzer, 2000). After the macro issues have been identified, they can be translated to national and local policies that should tackle the macro issues. The meso level focuses on the mediating role of policies between the macro issues and the contemporary cohousing initiatives within the policy-making network. Hogwood and Gunn (1985) describe the policy-making network as “… a seamless web involving a bewildering mesh of interactions and ramifications”, which underpins the complex social nature of policymaking that asks for a more insightful understanding of the actor-network. The level closest to the practice is the micro level, where the policies created at the meso level, based on the issues of the macro level, are implemented and translated into the practices of a developer. In the micro section, the question of the various aspects of new commons that are representative of contemporary cohousing initiatives are reached through housing policies in the practice of a developer stands central. With the meso analysis, this thesis tries to gain deeper insights into how the development of cohousing initiatives is influenced by national and local policy.

3.2 Macro Analysis as a Translator into Housing Policies

Recognizing the current macro issues delivers an initial and more general impression of what the housing policies are based on that are at the root of potential co-housing policies and initiatives. The macro issues will be recognized through reviewing policy documents and conducting in-depth interviews. Reviewing policy documents provides a way to identify the macro issues, and in-depth interviews with relevant stakeholders can deliver more sophisticated insights. Furthermore, the focus point is explicitly on gaining a deeper understanding of the socio-economic challenges that policymakers are facing. Although local governments often have their specific problems related to housing, among other things, these problems often originate from the broader national context (Biesbroek et al., 2009). These macro issues, for example, global warming, can often be considered global challenges. The macro problems formed can arise from various influences, ranging from human stimuli to natural phenomena that can't be predicted. It is up to policymakers to identify, translate and, where possible, address these problems (Shilling, 1992; Lowe &

Stuart, 2004). This thesis will initially explore the identified macro issues for housing development in The


Netherlands and how Amsterdam's Dutch government and municipality translate these into housing policy.

When reaching a deeper understanding of how the national and local housing policies of The Netherlands came about, more insight can be gained into how this ultimately culminates in the development of contemporary cohousing initiatives.

3.3 Meso Analysis Serving as a Mediator

Secondly, this research will analyze how the identified and considered macro issues turned into policies of governments within the complex social nature of policymaking, whereas discussed in the previous section, the interests of private and institutional actors got more interrelated. Policy documents will be reviewed, and more sophisticated information will be gathered from the interviews to explore how the interrelations of stakeholders within the policy-making process in The Netherlands and Amsterdam relate to each other.

The accumulated insights of the most level of analysis can serve as a connecting and explanatory interlude for the connections between more individual (micro) and larger (macro) structures (Rhoades, 1997). Because meso analysis looks for explanations and identifications of the broader context and tries to translate them to the practice level, the intermediary can be used practically to find answers for everyday developments.

Whereas macro analysis is often concerned with more abstract issues linked to concrete examples, micro analysis, on the other hand, often ignores these abstract issues that are part of the broader structures (Evans, 2001; Dowding, 1995). Both analyses often overlook the mediating process, so their outcomes cannot be comprehensive enough. This means that meso analysis is essential for contemporary policy research because of the multiple layers and independent networks in which the decision-making process is located. However, when a meso analysis is applied without considering the macro and micro levels, the research is very limited because of the mediating nature of the meso level, and there is a causal relationship from the macro to the micro-level where the meso level is in between (Evans, 2001; Dowding, 1995).

Actor-Network Theory as a Clarifier For The Actor-Network

Actor-Network Theory (ANT) can be used as a powerful tool for meso-level analysis because it delivers a more insightful understanding of all the actors that are involved when creating housing policies, and by doing so, it links the macro-and micro-level environments (Lowe & Stuart, 2004; Lindertoh, 2003).

According to Linde and Lindertoh (2003), ANT “… can be applied to analyzing a project process and expanding project management theory. This approach has some useful implications for practitioners”. In this case, this project process contains the process of making the housing policies. Furthermore, ANT makes it possible to “see project management practitioners as pre-eminently trained technicians, able to follow methodologies and use techniques on well-defined projects, to that of reflective practitioners, able to learn, operate and adapt effectively in complex project environments” (Crawford et al., 2006). Using ANT, this study considers which actors can be identified as project management practitioners and who can be identified as reflective practitioners.


Doing an ANT analysis is a helpful way to understand some of the complexity of the entire cohousing development process because the focus of doing an ANT analysis is primarily on better understanding a whole network and the interactions between actors without a necessarily performed structure (Pollack &

Sankaran, 2013). Each actor in the entire network of the cohousing development process and its associated policy development plays a particular role. The stakeholder roles relevant to this research will be highlighted based on the theory and interviews conducted in macro, meso, and micro analysis. The pertinent other actors will also be briefly explained.

To clarify what an actor covers, this research will look beyond people. As Callon & Latour (1981) describe, an actor is an "...element which bends space around itself, makes other elements depend upon itself and translates their will into a language of its own". This comprehensive definition opens a way to identify significant other than human elements throughout the process surrounding policy development around cohousing. The results of housing policies can bring about an outcome or hinder certain things for which these policies were not intended, so a non-human element can influence and even play a role in the whole process (Latour, 2005).

Ethnographic Added Value

According to Latour (1999), ANT theory can be seen as a form of research that falls under ethnomethodology. Ethnomethodology shows similar elements to ethnography because they are both sociological approaches. Furthermore, in both ways of studying, situations are examined as they are, and there is no further search for underlying interpretations, as is more familiar with the other analysis methods involved in this research. Thus, in this way, the complicated context of cohousing can be understood more deeply because, on the surface, it looks at the relevant actors. Still, it also delves deeper into the relevant stakeholders and their mutual interactions through the interviews. By examining the reciprocal interactions and outcomes of the applicable stakeholder network, multiple actors can be identified that present themselves as both human and non-human elements.

All of this together should produce a unifying framework that can provide more of an explanation of how the, what is, in some cases somewhat abstract, the macro environment is translated through housing policies into contemporary cohousing developments. To explore if the principles around contemporary cohousing are met through the policies, the next section, the micro analysis, will examine how the new commons are translated to urban commons, providing a representative way to assess a housing developer's practices on the new common principles based on the study of Williams (2017).


3.3 Micro Analysis: The Connection to Practice

Micro-analysis for considering how a developer relates to policymakers will be done with the meaning of providing an evident way of reviewing the implications of a housing policy.

In the last part of the research, the thesis will focus on whether the policymakers have reached the implications. A reflective analysis will consider how a developer relates to policy makers. Furthermore, the research will focus on whether the developer reaches the principles of contemporary cohousing. Discussing this two-element is meant to provide an evident way of reviewing the belonged implications of a housing policy (Lowe & Stuart, 2004).

One stakeholder that is highly dependent on housing policies is the one who realizes the dwellings, which is the developer. Developers are ultimately responsible for the housing built while serving their organization's purpose. In this study, the focus will be on a developer whose purpose is to achieve profitability. Despite the need to earn a return, developers in western Europe are increasingly moving with social trends to meet housing demand (Storkbjörk, 2018). In the last decades, housing demand has changed drastically, and issues such as inclusiveness, sustainability, and loneliness are weighed more and more heavily in developing housing in the Netherlands and especially in Amsterdam (Municipality of Amsterdam, 2020).

As mentioned earlier, cohousing offers a possible way of positively developing housing to change recent social trends (Tummers, 2015). In addition to their profitability objective, a developer must constantly deal with the changing demand and a housing policy that, like the housing demand, arises from social trends. By considering a developer's modus operandi by conducting in-depth interviews, this section examines whether the housing policy effectively meets contemporary social movements for which cohousing offers solutions.

So, at the micro-level, it is essential to discover how developers proceed given national and local policies related to housing and whether it is relevant for developers to delve into the creation of communities through the development of shared housing initiatives. The new common principles will be used to consider whether a developer's practices show similar elements to the development of contemporary cohousing initiatives. These principles are considered representative of the principles of contemporary cohousing because of the shared ideology centering on the formation of communities (Tummers, 2015; Williams, 2017). The main goal of Dutch developers is to achieve a certain return, and many business structures are built around this goal. This goal and corresponding structure show similarities with neoliberal market principles, and these principles seem to clash with the new common principles (Tummers, 2016). It is, therefore, extra interesting to see whether the policies that serve the society reach their implications, even in a country with a dominant role of the market. To analyze for exploring the similarities between the developer's practices and the principles of the new commons, the research of Williams (2017) is used as a guide, where he offers a framework that identifies new commons through urban commons allowing property initiative considering.


The micro-level analysis attempts to contribute to a deeper understanding of two critical aspects to answer the research questions: how the developer relates to the policy makers, how the developer's practice changes, and whether this aligns with common principles.

It is important to note that even though the sub-research questions seem to be split off at a specific level of analysis, all levels of analysis, macro, meso, and micro, will contribute to answering the research questions because all levels are constantly interacting and influencing each other. As described earlier, meso analysis for housing policy determines housing policy in a complex network of connected continuous actors.

3.4 Contextualising the research

The literature on cohousing has shown that the Netherlands, among other countries, is an interesting research area for contemporary cohousing initiatives because of all the developments in the Netherlands.

Amsterdam is a forerunner within the Netherlands regarding cohousing, and a wide range of different variants of the housing type can be found in the city. Hence, this research focuses on Amsterdam's housing policy and a developer responsible for realizing a significant share of the city's housing in Amsterdam.

3.5 Data Collection: Qualitative Methods Used

3.5.1 Introduction

This study uses qualitative research methods that build on existing theory. This inductive way of considering requires an inquisitive attitude towards the phenomenon under investigation, which in this case is the influence of policies on contemporary cohousing initiatives. The data collected came mainly from in-depth interviews conducted with stakeholders at each research level (macro, meso, micro). These interviews were linked to the collected literature, primarily scientific but non-scientific sources that were also considered to gather information. The in-depth discussion at the macro level was conducted with a senior housing policy advisor from the Centraal Plan Bureau (CPB), the central planning office of The Netherlands. This interview lasted approximately twenty-five minutes and was physically conducted at the ministry in The Hague. The in-depth interview for the meso level was performed with a housing policy advisor and urban planner from the municipality of Amsterdam and lasted about forty minutes. Finally, two interviews lasting approximately half an hour were conducted for the micro-level with an asset manager and a housing concepts consultant of cooperative living forms. Both are employed by the institutional developer Amvest, based in Amsterdam.


The in-depth interviews conducted were recorded and then fully converted into written text. Because the texts were fully typed out, it was possible to create codes and categories, so essential information from the interviews could be filtered and integrated into the research. This was done using software programs Word Online and Atlas; combining these programs was necessary to create something useful from the large flow of information that followed the interviews. In addition, notes were taken during the interviews for the coherence and totality of the story, but due to ethical considerations, these were not reproduced verbatim in the study. A conscious choice was to interview individuals directly interested in developing national and local housing policies. But also, people involved with this policy daily have absolutely no influence on it.

The interviewees can thus be regarded as primary stakeholders.

The persons interviewed were given different names in the study to safeguard anonymity, even though the interviewees had indicated no problems with their names being mentioned. Naming them has no specific added value, which is why they have been left out. The interviews were conducted in Dutch because not all participants spoke sufficient English, and specific professional terms were used. If the interviews were conducted in English, this could lead to miscommunications and wrong terminology. Interviewees gave full consent for the interview and used the resulting information. In addition, it was suggested that the discussions and the rest of the data be shared when everything was finalized; this was done on 20-06-2022.

3.5.2 Main Data Collection Methods

In-depth Interviews

In addition to conducting a great deal of relevant literature research that contributed to the preparation and processing of the study, single in-depth interviews were used during this study. This method of interviewing was chosen because it has a discovery style of questioning and provides a deeper than initial understanding of the experiences, feelings, and perspectives of the stakeholders interviewed (Guion et al., 2011). The interviews were conducted at the sites where the stakeholders work, allowing them to observe their work environments and have brief conversations with their colleagues. This allowed for a better consideration of the relevant context in which the stakeholders of this study find themselves daily. The interviews took approximately twenty to forty minutes, and the stakeholders were contacted in advance by phone and social media channels. There were occasions when a person unsuitable for this research was initially contacted, but through these individuals, it was still possible to get to the right stakeholder.


Questions were devised for each type of stakeholder relevant to their role in the entire stakeholder network of development cohousing initiatives. The questions were drafted more general initially and became more specific as the interview progressed. This way of conducting the interview ensured a smooth start and established a trusting relationship. In addition, because of the logical structure, it was clear to the interviewee what the purpose and intended outcomes of the interview were (Guion et al., 2011). The core of the questions consisted of how the stakeholders relate within the social spectrum they find themselves in during their work and how this social spectrum positions itself in the entire cohousing context. In the end, each interview went differently than pre-planned because of the questions' openness and constant anticipation of the answers the respondent gave. The appendices contain the outline for the interviews, with an accompanying form signed by each interviewee stating that they consent that their responses will be used for this study.

Revising Policy Documents

National and local housing policy documents are examined to infer what effect regulations and subsidies have on housing developments, particularly cohousing. These documents can be found online, so that is where the sources will come from. The relevant content of the housing policy documents will be considered in the research and linked to the information derived from the interviews and the literature review.

3.5.3 Purposive Sampling

To find suitable individuals for the interviews, purposive sampling was used. This is a particular way of picking respondents, where respondents were chosen who met the criteria that made someone suitable for this study. Based on how involved someone is in the development of cohousing initiatives and how responsible this person is for a particular phase of the development process, it was determined who would be approached. The involvement varied from being involved at a very early stage where only socio-economic challenges are identified to being involved at the implementation level of a cohousing initiative. Due to the divergent roles of the interviewees - which ranged from a role in the macro spectrum, through the meso, to the micro scope - and the limited period, only five in-depth interviews were conducted.


3.5.4 Tackling Attitudinal Fallacy During In-depth Interviews & Ethnographic Added Value

Attitudinal Fallacy

When conducting an in-depth interview, answers emerge about the experiences of an interviewee from their perspective; in doing so, the risk arises that these answers outline an incongruity of those experiences; this is called an attitudinal fallacy. Jerolmack & Khan (2014) describe this as: "… attitudinal fallacy is committed when verbal data are used to support claims not about what people believe or say, but what they do. What people say is often a poor predictor of what they do. We argue that many interview and survey researchers routinely conflate self-reports with behavior and assume a consistency between attitudes and action. We call this erroneous inference of situated behavior from verbal accounts attitudinal fallacy...". This risk is always present and is complicated to tackle within this research period; there are not enough resources to verify the extent to which an interviewee's statements align with their actions.

Nevertheless, proper research was done on the interviewees before and after the interview to reduce the risks of the attitudinal fallacy. The interviewees were checked by researching them on the Internet and by inquiring from the people who wrote to them. This revealed that several statements made by the interviewees seemed to correspond in some ways to the experiences described. The words that were most likely to be accurate and most relevant were included in the results.

Ethnographic Value

For this study and its associated research methods, it was impossible to collect ethnographic data because the time this research method requires was not available in the short period in which the thesis was written.

Stakeholders from the macro -to the micro-spectrum were interviewed for the study. Although individuals from these spectra interact with each other, the same is not valid for the specific interviewees. Thus, observing participants or their interactions was impossible due to the complex and broad stakeholder network being examined in this thesis and the short time it was written. Nevertheless, specific observations were observed, and Actor Network Theory (ANT) added an ethnographic element to the study. The experimental observations are described by Pinksy (2005) as 'incidental ethnographic encounters,' and the author refers to 'guidelines for interviewers who might happen to engage in extended interactions with their interviewees beyond the time frame of the actual interview encounter.' Stakeholder interactions with the interviewees were also observed during the interviews. These interviewees came to the study via others, and a lot of networking and recruiting preceded this. Since the interviews were on location, and the arrival time was always well before the interview, there was room to observe how the interviewees' surroundings related briefly. In addition, brief contact of the interviewee with their colleagues was observed. According to the article by Pinksy (2015), there is also practical value in keeping these 'chance' observations such as '...encounters with interviewees, extraneous conversations, observing living spaces ... telephone calls for recruitment and screening...'. Finally, ANT also has an observational nature that, according to Latour (1999), exhibits ethnomethodological properties.


3.5 Conceptual framework

The methodology discussed has led to the following conceptual framework:

Figure 2: Conceptual Framework (Savonije, 2022)

3.6 Methodological Limitations and Reflections

The research design is aimed at investigating housing policy and what influence this has on contemporary cohousing initiatives in the Netherlands, particularly in Amsterdam. This is a research design that is in an extensive and complex network where very many factors play a specific role and exert a particular influence on all outcomes. Due to the short duration of the research and the limited resources available for the study, it seems not possible to investigate a process that has come about over the years.

The interviews were conducted in Dutch to promote the discussion and at the wishes of most interviewees since not everyone speaks fluently English. The responses were translated into English, which may cause data to be misinterpreted or formulated incorrectly.

Because of the research design, which looks at policies on a national and local level by governments and the practices of a developer, it was tough to find the right respondents for the interviews. The desired interviewees are from different locations and levels in public and private agencies. Even though at least one interview was conducted at each level of research, it would have been desirable to be able to interview even more people.

This research focuses on only one housing developer, while many other parties in Amsterdam and the Netherlands develop and engage in housing. It could be interesting for further research to investigate a housing cooperative instead of a commercial developer. In addition, it would also be interesting to explore both of these and possibly compare them with each other. Only one developer is never representative of finding the truth, but due to a lack of time and resources, it was impossible to investigate more parties.




Identification of Macro issues that are at the root of housing policy making

Development of national and local housing policies

Reviewing the practices of a housing developer in Amsterdam with commons

Methods used:

Research process:

In-depth interviews Reviewing policy documents

In-depth interviews Reviewing policy documents Actor Network Theory (ANT)

In-depth interviews

Sub-research questions: Research question:

1.What is the influence of the identified macro issues on housing policies in The Netherlands? 

2.How do the stakeholders within the network of housing policy making process in the Netherlands relate to each other?

3.How do the housing policies and principles of contemporary cohousing express themselves in a developer's practices?

How are contemporary co- housing initiatives influenced by the changing housing policies of local and national governments and the changing public- private relations?

Comparisson to the literature on contemporary cohousing


When collecting data from interviews, the subjectivity and behavior of an interviewer and the interviewee affect the answers obtained. The 'attitudinal fallacy’ has partially addressed this problem, but this never removes all subjectivity.

3.7 Ethical Considerations

The interviews were conducted on location at the workplaces of the interviewees. Therefore it was essential to come there well prepared and with the appropriate behavior. The interviewees were well informed about the interview, so they were not surprised. The names of the interviewees were also anonymized from ethical considerations, as the names are not relevant, but the function and the answers they give are. Appendix I describes how the process was done.


4. Results and Analysis: Influence of Policies

4.1 Introduction

The entire process, from the emergence of macro issues to the practices of contemporary cohousing, covers a broad and highly complex network. In this section, in-depth interviews and policy research are used to investigate how policy is formed and what it is based on, and how this ultimately results in housing development. Based on the results of the applied analyses, a comparison with the existing literature is made to conclude. In the end, the actor-network will be globally explained and displayed to give an insight into the whole network surrounding the housing policy-making process.

4.2 Approach from The National Government: From Macro Issues to Policy and Practice

4.2.1 Reviewing Housing Policy Documents: Purpose

The Centraal Plan Bureau (CPB) is the central planning office of the Dutch government, and they develop national housing policies and guide and advise the government in their implementation. In a policy document of the CPB, called ‘the reform of the Dutch housing policy,’ the CPB emphasizes that the current national housing policy hinders the functioning of the housing market (CPB, 2010, p.5). While the CPB also further on in the document highlights that the overall purpose of the national housing policy is to safeguard and increase the affordability, quality, and availability of dwellings in The Netherlands. The CPB tries to accomplish this by making the spatial planning policy favorable for social welfare. The national housing policy's purposes of safeguarding and increasing can be valuable for unraveling socio-economic challenges such as poverty, degradation, and inclusivity (CPB, 2010, p.11). As earlier described, Tummers’s (2015) study shows that the critical principles of cohousing contain social inclusivity and shared living, which is embedded in a sustainable developed, and used building. The empirical descriptive aspects of cohousing seem to have similarities with the purpose of the Dutch national housing policy since they both serve the same mission where adapting to socio-economic and environmental needs is the foundation (Tummers, 2015; Sargisson, 2012).

Furthermore, the purpose of the national housing policy seems to exhibit similarities with the also earlier described post-capitalist reinvented neoliberal principles where many scholars and commoners take a stand towards, which emphasizes the priority of political, socio-economic, and environmental equity (Stavrides, 2016; Tummers 2015; Clement et al., 2019). The purpose of the CPB seems to be clear and aligns with the principles of contemporary cohousing. Still, the question of whether the working methods of the CPB is conducive to reaching social welfare is present.


4.2.2 Reviewing Housing Policy Documents: Practice


The CPB greatly influences the Dutch housing market for reaching the purposes mentioned in the previous paragraph, which leads to significant government involvement regarding the needs for rental and owner- occupied dwellings in The Netherlands. The policy advice created by the CPB for the government is focused on letting the lower-income earners benefit so that housing becomes more available for everyone, not only those who can afford it. Subsidies are also widely used for cohousing initiatives in Europe, which has proven to be a way of reaching more equality (Vestbro, 2010). in Germany, for example, there are cross- departmental subsidies for constructing sustainable cohousing buildings. There are benefits for residents from housing cooperatives where at least 50% of the tenants qualify for social housing (Droste, 2015). The CPB also tries to accomplish equality by making policies for subsidies that the government can use. Still, these subsidies are available for all income groups, which leads to the profiting from these subsidies by all households. This has the consequence that money is being ‘pumped around,’ which refers to the subsidies contributing to creating more inequality because those subsidies are only available if someone consumes certain goods or services, which leads to more taxes being paid, and those taxes finance the subsidies again.

Adding on, only people who have a decent financial status come into the opportunity to consume enough for the subsidies; this also leads to more inequality, and more is finished in ‘normal’ housing than is socially desirable (CPB, 2010, p.43).


In the document regarding the reform of the Dutch housing policy, the CPB also highlights the increased government regulation and decision-making of the housing market (CPB. 2010, p.35). The regulation relates primarily to the social rental market and the quality of newly built dwellings, which results in the development of more dwellings intended for the free, less regulated rent sector because these kinds of rental dwellings are more profitable. For the development of new houses, the government first must approve the zoning plan, including the number of dwellings and their required quality. This way of conducting housing policy, where there is more regulation for a part of the rental market and where the national government is responsible for approving zoning plans, clashes with the principles that should enforce cohousing. Societal trends such as decentralization and customized demand are part of the definition of contemporary cohousing and underpin the need for less regulation and top-down decision-making (Vestbro, 2010;

Tummers, 2015). While the government tempts to create a conducive environment to implement the like- minded neoliberal influences in housing policy, which emphasizes everyone’s right to housing, it implements specific policy structures that are not conducive to this principle due to the centralized and regulated decision-making process (Aalbers, 2013). This ties in with what Rolnik (2013) argues about the discrepancy between intentions and execution of neoliberalism regarding housing policies, arising from the development


of neoliberalism has been highly uneven both socially and geographically, and its institutional forms and socio-political consequences have varied widely around the world, depending on context-specific interactions between inherited regulatory landscapes and emerging market-oriented restructuring projects.”

4.2.3 Housing policies of The Netherlands: Interview

Development of Policies

To gain a deeper understanding of how the contemporary societal and housing challenges are analyzed and processed by the CPB and to see how it connects to the development of cohousing through the 20th century, the first part of the interview included defining what the policies of the CPB are based on and how housing in the Netherlands has evolved over the decades as a reaction to socio-economic challenges. Hans from the CPB describes this evolution of the policies pursued by the central planning office by mentioning how the first developments of housing policies after the second world war came about “[…] what also happened was a huge baby boom actually after the war, and so you see that suddenly, that the population grows enormously and so the number of households starts to increase, so there was a tremendous housing shortage.” To compare with the current housing crisis, Hans reached the demand for housing around 1960 with the market today “[…] Well, we are now talking about 3 to 4%, and we think that is already quite something. […] then you were talking about 14%. This was the time that everything had to be restarted after the war. There were no raw materials; there were no factories […]” This description shows similarities with the current housing crisis, where a shortage of raw materials and labor also plays a very reinforcing role; only then were the deficits significantly more than today. When it went into more detail about how the CPB intended to tackle the housing crisis back then, Hans said, “[…] Housing corporations were given an increasingly strong role, the construction flows of these corporations were mostly funded by governmental subsidies, that were also allocated to municipalities. But it was very much state-controlled, with the driver to ensure everyone can be equal.’’

CPB's involvement for developing housing policies throughout the 20th century shows similarities with the fundamental ideals and principles of cooperative living forms, where equality is at the foundation (Vestbro

& Horelli, 2012). Furthermore, the CPB has devised subsidy schemes for the government and created a significantly more vital role to housing cooperatives, which attests to government initiatives conducive to cooperative living. However, the fact that the development and execution of housing policies are still predominantly state-controlled and seem to stay that way, so they are still very top-down and centralized, contradicts this because contemporary cohousing asks for a decentralized and bottom-up policy approach (Vestbro, 2010; Tummers, 2015; Scheller & Thörn, 2018).


Contemporary challenges

After the 20th century, the way the CPB analyzed and tackled housing problems was still based on the pursuit of socio-economic challenges. Some problems showed similarities, but developments are advancing with a faster turnaround nowadays. The Netherlands and even the world are facing enormous environmental challenges such as global warming, making the decision-making process more complicated and challenging. During the presentation of the government's policy (2021), the Dutch government announced that they plan to build an additional one million homes by 2030. Still, with the current pace of construction, tightened regulations, and environmental standards, this number seems very hard to achieve.

Given these circumstances, the CPB sees opportunities for developing one million homes, “[…] by using innovative processes […] such as modular construction, the desired numbers can be achieved […]”, Hans says. The modular building technique is a way to tackle sustainability problems because it requires less material and labor because of production automation. It is a good development form for contemporary cohousing initiatives since they often need standard, freely definable spaces that can be realized practically with modules (Kim et al., 2013; Bender, 2019). It seems like a conducive step for contemporary cohousing and the associated sustainability ideals that the government would invest in or subsidize modular building techniques, but this seems not to be workable in The Netherlands because “[…] once a prefabricated house is good for one municipality it does not necessarily mean that the house is suitable for another municipality, because often there is also a difference in the building regulations per municipality.”, according to Hans. This indicates an inconsistency between the government's vision and its implementation partly due to divergent policies of the municipalities, and it demonstrates an example of how the government indirectly is hindered from making cohousing initiatives more attractive. Elaborating on this subject moves the conversation toward municipal regulation regarding living together (This will be further explored in the next section), which in the Netherlands does not seem conducive to contemporary cohousing initiatives. Many municipalities permit laws for cohabitation to be tightened, hindering contemporary cohousing initiatives where such an essential factor includes cohabitation on a small and large scale (Lens, 2018; Saoz, 2021). Hans continues this issue and says, "[…] I don't think that's necessary. If you, as a developer, start to develop something new with a good story about cohousing, you shouldn't come up against the policy against slumming […]. Still, it is necessary for older, cheaper, and partly fire-prone houses, where people often just put up all kinds of little rooms on the edge of the building regulations or lump too many people together.”. This also presents a contradictory picture in which it becomes clear that a well-meaning specific local policy is meant to tackle societal problems. Still, at the same time, it obstructs the development of innovative living forms such as contemporary cohousing because it requires more flexibility of regulation.

4.2.4 Conclusion: National Housing Policies: Discrepancy Between ‘Idealistic’ Principles and Implementation

The policy of The Netherlands regarding housing for the whole country seems to follow the correct principles for tackling the ongoing socio-economic challenges that the society is constantly facing. How


But the CPB acknowledges a divergence between the current national housing policy and the housing market's performance, which shows similarities with the discrepancy between neoliberal principles and neoliberal market implementations (CPB, 2010)(Rolnik, 2013). For example, a specific subsidy system meant to create more equality in which households must be encouraged to invest in their homes has the opposite effect because the lower-income earners cannot invest in their homes. The higher-income earners, as a result, start investing in their homes more than is socially desirable (CPB, 2010). Subsidies based on the qualification of tenants for social housing demonstrate a more practical application of subsidies where social justice may be achieved sooner (Vestbro, 2010). The overall process by which the government determines national housing policy is still typified by central and top-down decision-making.

In contrast, the government aims to promote everyone's right to housing. From this, it can be concluded that national policymakers generally agree with the renewed neoliberal principles that align with contemporary cohousing principles. However, that implementation is still too focused on solving specific socio-economic problems that prevent achieving those principles. Thus national policy is not (yet) conducive to innovative forms of housing such as cohousing.

The interview with Hans provided more profound insights into how contemporary societal challenges are translated into housing policies. This interrelationship between the independent variable and dependent variable, respectively, has evolved over the years. When the current housing crisis is discussed, it emerges that it bears many similarities to the housing crisis of the last century, where the scarcity of labor and resources plays a dominant role. Even though the government decided to give housing cooperatives more power and subsidies in response, decision-making remained very bureaucratic and organized from within the national government. This demonstrates a contradictory approach whereby, on the one hand, policies are implemented that are conducive to the development of cooperative housing, while on the other hand, the way the policies are implemented is not conducive to this (Vestbro, 2010; Tummers, 2015; Scheller &

Thörn 2018). today, the policy-making process has become more complicated due to ever-accelerating global developments and environmental challenges.

Nevertheless, the Dutch government plans to build one million additional dwellings by 2030. Hans argues that this is achievable using innovative construction techniques such as modular construction, which are also suitable for and align with contemporary cohousing initiatives' principles. However, despite this method of development seeming to offer outcomes, this is not being invested in by the national government due to varying policies of municipalities regarding building regulations. In addition, municipalities complicate the process of cohousing, mainly in cities, with permits. This has valid reasons, but it is not conducive to developing innovative housing forms such as cohousing. The clash of the shared social principles of both the government and municipalities, with the local policies of municipalities being considered in the next section.




Related subjects :