Transit Village

Creating Space for Transition

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The housing crisis has resulted in a shortage of one million homes in the Netherlands. The dilemma: simply ramping up housing production fails to solve the problem, as common methods of construction and project development repeatedly prove to be socially and environmentally unsustainable.

Transit Village explores a variety of approaches that rethink the status quo and integrates them into a sustainable neighborhood development at the “Rail Junction East Arnhem”. The centrally located site remains largely untouched by city planning and is characterized by its transitional use through diverse groups. Rather than relocating these groups to make space for development, a Community Land Trust gives community members and future residents agency to develop land according to shared values. The result is an urban framework, that builds new connections to the city fabric and nature areas, that creates recreational spaces for the city population, and whose walkability enables a circular neighborhood economy. Within the urban framework, residents can even make use of building plots before building operations are carried out.

Buildings are co-created with a circular building system that embraces change. A high grade of prefabrication and remountability reduces construction and demolition waste and speeds up production and assembly. Modularity facilitates a gradual transition from low to high density and allows density adjustments in the future. A catalog of flexible partition and facade components empowers residents to customize apartment size and function according to their current needs. In this way, buildings can adapt to changing resident requirements, and building lifespans are considerably extended.

Refurbishment and recycling of unused building components are handled by a locally run Material Hub that creates work opportunities in the district of Presikhaaf, which has a high unemployment rate. The resulting circular material ecosystem is fueled by a new financial model where residents subscribe to apartment configurations instead of renting a predefined apartment, thereby financing maintenance and circulation of materials in small monthly installments.

To evaluate which design choices would lead to building components with high performance in such a Product as a Service environment, a decision-support tool for designers was developed in the Thematic Research Paper. Therefore, Residual Value Forecasting models from the car leasing industry were analyzed, and design parameters were extracted that can make statements about the residual value of different interior partition wall types. The parameters were organized in a Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis that is capable of ranking designs regarding their grade of durability and remountability. The tool seeks to help designers choose component designs that will create low maintenance costs, that are in use longer, and where the residual value of materials becomes accessible at the end of their useful life.