To main content

Temporariness in housing - A threat to sustainable neighbourhoods in urban areas?


In Norway it has become more usual for young people, including students, to buy instead of renting a flat. Price increase the last 15 years has made it attractive to get into the housing market as early as possible. Demand for small and reasonable urban apartments for young people has increased. In the university-town Trondheim, a lot of small single room flats have been built in the city centre and its vicinity. It is questioned whether these new dwellings satisfy necessary quality requirements, both from the tenants point of view as well as in a social perspective. This lead to an initiative from the local authorities to carry out an investigation to throw light on young people’s apprehension of housing qualities in new residential areas. Some interesting findings were discovered:The habitants consider owning their flat as the first step to independence, and therefore most of them are satisfied, in spite of apparent lack of basic qualities. They look upon their flat as an investment object and as a first step into the housing market. A connected aspect is that they look upon their habitation as temporary. Their perspective was, independent of ownership, between 2-5 years. The paper will discuss the consequences the attitudes of young residents may have for urban neighbourhoods, with emphasis on how this situation may have negative effects on sustainable urban development. Questions for further research will be raised as to what kind of strategies and policies could be carried out to avoid segregation and contribute to a diverse and sustainable development of the city.


Academic lecture




  • Solvår Irene Wågø


  • SINTEF Community / Architectural Engineering

Presented at

ENHR 2007 International Conference ‘Sustainable Urban Areas’




27.06.2007 - 27.06.2007





View this publication at Cristin