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Andrea Krstovic, Chief Executive Officer at  ‘More than Housing’ in Switzerland (World Habitat Awards winner 2016-17).

We have just announced the World Habitat Awards winners 2016-17.  When we told Andrea that ‘More than Housing’ was one of the winners she shared some of her personal insights about the project:

How would you describe ‘More than Housing’ in 10 words?

A holistic approach to sustainable housing – social, ecological and economical.

What do you think is the best thing about ‘More than Housing’?

Dialogue. From the very first day of the project; future inhabitants, experts, architects, planners and project leads all met as partners at ‘More than Housing’. Through a process of dialogue the project was planned and built. The dialogue is the core of the urban plan, the architecture of the individual houses and continues in everyday life with a very diverse group of people living and working in our cooperative.

What motivates you to do what you do at ‘More than Housing’?

‘More than Housing’ lives up to its name: it’s ‘more than’. The principle of a cooperative is helping people to help themselves. I see ‘More than Housing’ as an enabler providing the space, the financial as well as human resources and support needed but the members of the cooperative shape their environment.

What fascinates me every day is what we can achieve by working together – it goes beyond a single housing project. We partner with social institutions, universities, other cooperatives, the city council and the association of housing cooperatives in order to share and enhance our knowledge leading to new ideas, initiatives and projects.

What is the single most important part of winning the World Habitat Award?

With the award we can expand our network and foster mutual learning beyond borders.

‘More than Housing’ has been founded with a clear goal: to be an innovation hub for non-profit housing and future living. We take this assignment seriously and share our knowledge and research systematically, however, it has been mainly limited to Switzerland and Western Europe. With winning the World Habitat Award we can now have an even larger impact worldwide.

Why do you think you won?

The award is given to projects that deal with issues concerning people around the world. Unfortunately, affordable housing has increasingly become a rarity if not even a luxury good and that’s not just in Europe. ‘More than Housing’ is addressing many social and environmental issues, which can be transferred to other cities around the globe supporting local foundations and cooperatives in dealing with these issues without having to re-invent the wheel.

Read all about ‘More than Housing’ on their project page on our website.

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