Transnational and Local Models of Social Housing by Welfare States

P. Vassiliadis, General Plan of the Greater Athens Area.

Ministry of Public Works Department of Housing, 1965


Supervisors: Prof. Luca Ortelli, Dr. Elena Cogato Lanza

PhD student : Sıla Karataş Başoğlu


Social housing is low-cost habitation built for people with low-income by state or non-profit organizations, and an important field of architecture and urbanism against problems of urbanization. This research concerns spatial production mechanisms, urban strategies and architectural models of social housing programs performed by welfare states in Europe after the Second World War against housing crisis.

Social housing represents the urban form of welfare states due to planning strategies as well as architectural design and construction methods introduced by national housing programs within the framework of international aid and assistance programs for development. These settlements still compose essential habitats of contemporary cities facing the risk of privatization or demolition.

The research aims to analyze social housing models of welfare states and their socio-spatial role in shaping urban environments at different development levels on a transnational scale. The methodology will be a comparative analysis on case studies of social housing constructed for workers in industrial regions of France, Italy, Greece and Turkey as the Northern Mediterranean countries that took part in the Marshall Plan and introduced social housing programs for workers as part of development programs.

The expected outcomes will be to describe social, economic and spatial policies and actors, urban and architectural forms of social housing by postwar welfare states, and to suggest new socio-spatial strategies and models for social housing against housing crisis of contemporary cities with the support of EPFL’s expertise on housing and urbanism.

This research is awarded a Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship for PhD which is funded by the Swiss Federal Commission for Scholarships for Foreign Students (FCS).


Keywords: Welfare state, development, urbanism, architecture, social housing