Housing estates’ population – intensification as the way of their sustainability?

Karol Görner


Nowadays, when we are aware of the need of effective management of natural resources, the demand to build cities with regard to their sustainability comes to the fore. Our attention should be focused on the effective use of the existing urban structures. One of the basic principles of such development is the process of intensification. The housing estates from the era of mass housing estates development become a particular problem. Even after about a quarter century, housing estates represent a significant proportion of our cities. On the one hand they are connected with a lot of problems, but on the other hand, they have a lot of reserves for their correction, where the process of intensification can play a crucial role. However, there are different views on intensification. The current process of intensification of the existing housing estates is made by spontaneity and urban-architectural misconception, focused mainly on the economic profit.

In this context, a number of questions appear: Is it appropriate to intensify housing estates and if so, in what positions? How can the process of intensification be regulated? The aim of this paper is to summarize the existing knowledge of intensification in the context of the issue of housing estates. The paper defines intensification, characterizes its basis and principles. The second part focuses on the issues of housing estates, their development and their problems, with emphasis on Slovak realities. It also shows basic approaches to housing estates in our country and abroad. The last part of the work focuses on the intensification as a possible approach to solve the problems of our housing estates and their valorisation. Finally, we conclude that the key task will be to decide which values of our housing estates should be protected in the current state, and which parts should be used in more effective way.

Keywords: development, intensification, housing estate, town, sustainability, urban design