WHAT BELLINGHAM CAN LEARN ABOUT DESIGNING HOUSING FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
B R U N A and Localgroup.studio in collaboration with PAUL Schissler and GALEN Herz presented an exhibition featuring Vienna, Austria’s innovative approaches to housing, architecture, affordability, as well as urban, neighborhood, and community development.
The Vienna Model: Housing for the 21st Century was on view at 221 Prospect Street from April 6 through April 28, 2018 and presented social housing in the context of Vienna’s stable market (where over 60 percent of Vienna’s residents live in homes owned by the municipality or limited-profit organizations).
This exhibition (curated by Wolfgang Förster and William Menking) illustrated how Vienna has an expanded menu of urban planning options. By bringing the exhibit to Whatcom County, B R U N A and collaborators provide a space for dialogue around the future of our local cities and towns, where we hope the quality of life will be affordable.
The Vienna Model highlighted eight key principles through a series of photographs and interpretive displays: Social Mixing, Developing New Urban Areas, Diversity and Integration, Citizen Participation, Environment and Climate Protection, Developing Existing Housing Stock, Building on the Outskirts, Use and Design of Public Spaces, and the Role of Art. These principles have made Vienna one of the most livable cities in the world without making homes unaffordable for the people who live and work there.
RELATED EVENTS In addition to the exhibition, there were a series of public programs that invited the community to attend and participate, including:
COMMUNITY DISCUSSION Bellingham to Vienna
Local community activists, professionals, representatives, and residents convened a discussion on Bellingham’s current housing crisis and what might be learned from The Vienna Model. Special guests included Sabine Bitter and Jeff Derksen, organizers of the Vancouver, BC iteration of The Vienna Model exhibition and members of the research collective Urban Subjects. We also heard from organizers of the Bellingham Tenants Union, Nickolaus Dee Lewis from Lummi Stepping Stones, and many others.
FILM SCREENING AND DISCUSSION How to Live in Vienna (2013)
FILM SCREENING AND DISCUSSION Urbanized (2011)
COMMUNITY DISCUSSION What If...? Local community activists, professionals, representatives, and residents met to discuss what a better housing future might look like and what lessons from Vienna could work in our region.
We acknowledge that the activities of Bruna Press + Archive take place on the sacred and ancestral home of the Lummi and Nooksack peoples. We are grateful for their loving stewardship of the land and its inhabitants, and intend to be good guests and neighbors as we recognize their sovereignty and rich cultural practice + heritage. We set this intention first by making acknowledgments and then by practicing reciprocity. We are grateful to be able to share this space (both physically and culturally) with indigenous communities from here and elsewhere.