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Case study: Using technology to address the housing challenge

In Week 3, we examined the global housing challenge and one of the suggestions for providing more adequate, affordable housing was to use standardised construction and new technologies. In this learning step, we examine some examples of how new technologies are being harnessed to provide housing more quickly, efficiently and affordably.

In the first example, a team of young Dutch architects are “swapping bricks and mortar for bioplastics and construction workers for a 3D printer” in the city of Amsterdam (Netherlands). Watch their plans to re-shape how we think about and produce housing in the short video at the link below.

In the second example, a company in Shanghai (China) is using large-scale 3D printers to create new houses. In just 24 hours, they can create 10 new houses at an average cost of just US$5,000 per house. This is arguably not just more efficient and cost-effective but also more environmentally friendly as the materials used are recycled construction materials. Watch the short video at the link below to learn more.

These are innovative methods, but how likely are they to be mainstreamed? What do you think about the potential of these technologies? Share your thoughts by commenting.

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This article is from the free online course:

Planetary Urbanisation: Global Challenges in a Changing World

University College Dublin

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join:

  • Workers' housing at Port Sunlight, outside Liverpool
    Building a garden city

    Can cities be owned by their inhabitants and maintain a relationship with the countryside? Dr Joe Brady explores in this article, the Garden City.

  • Introduction to Week 2
    Introduction to Week 2

    Watch Niamh Moore-Cherry introduce week 2 of the course which explains the complex nature of urbanisation and its global impacts.

  • The global housing crisis
    The global housing crisis

    Housing is one of the greatest challenges facing humans today. Watch Niamh Moore-Cherry explain the nature of the global housing crisis.

  •  Security and social control in the city
    Security and social control in the city

    Private security measures play a major role in shaping cities and behaviour within them. Watch Aogan Mulch discuss the implications for urban life.

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