Pathways to inclusive, affordable, and sustainable housing

PREFIGURE aims to create pathways towards an equitable green and digital transition laying the foundations for the development of energy-efficient, affordable and environmentally sustainable housing.

The project employs a mixed method transformative approach, identifying “prototypes of change” that address the housing-energy nexus. Co-creating knowledge with residents and involved stakeholders, PREFIGURE provides evidence-based solutions that inform EU, national, regional and local policies that tackle housing and energy vulnerabilities across local case studies and beyond.


PREFIGURE is putting a spotlight on 14 “prototypes of change”, which are existing social, political, and economic innovations that contribute to affordable housing renovation schemes for vulnerable households and communities.

This bottom-up approach establishes the foundation for the formation of learning communities through participatory research, which facilitates interaction between researchers, communities and policymakers. This process encourages the transfer of knowledge and the creation of opportunities for an upscaling of initiatives that leverage just policies for sustainable city futures.


The scientific innovation for tracing the uneven geographies of housing and energy vulnerability also relies on the use of the MobiLab.

The MobiLab is a mobile urban laboratory for sustainable innovation in the form of a tiny house. It will travel across the seven local case studies. The objective to use the MobiLab are to:

  • Collect rich empirical data
  • Connect stakeholders of innovations
  • Accelerate dissemination of research results
  • Diffuse knowledge on experiments and practices of innovation

An interdisciplinary team

The consortium’s interdisciplinary competencies are a significant asset to PREFIGURE. The team is comprised of nine partners, including four universities with profound scientific expertise and essential methodological skills, as well as five non-academic partners who offer know-how in policy co-creation, design, and the delivery of means to create affordable, accessible, and energy-efficient housing.

The coordinating institution is the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany, which is also responsible for the methodological innovation of the MobiLab. The collaborating partners are the Center for the Study of Democracy in Bulgaria, Malmö University in Sweden, IDRA Barcelona Urban Research Institute in Spain, University of Amsterdam in Netherlands, Fondazione ICONS in Italy, University of Southampton in the United Kingdom, Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development in Germany and Estonian Union of Co-operative Housing Associations in  Estonia.

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