The starting point took Empathic Home in a mapping and analyze of the current and future housing, living and working circumstances in Dale i Sunnfjord, Norway. Dale, based in the norwegian commune Fjaler in the county of Sogn og Fjordane, has a rich and long history of being a host place for strangers, travelers and guests for a short or long term period. Dale i Sunnfjord claims to be “eit ope samfunn”- “an open society” with the open mindness towards newcomer. Transplant invited the austrian sociologist Rainer Rosegger, whose expertise are shrinking cities and urban development, to investigate the nowadays situation in Dale, its needs and desires as a developing and prospering town. Rainer Rosegger, in collaboration with Transplant, interviewed local hosts and inhabitants to find out more about their previous experiences with guest and newcomers. Additionally he interviewed artists and people who work in creative industries, to find out more about how it is to work professionally from a small municipality with 2919 inhabitants. Rainer Rosegger used furthermore the opportunity to meet the commune responsibles for the town development and to have a look in the communes plans, which gave hime additionally good background informations to pull conclusions and for any recommendations.

The results of the interviews and studies of the commune and Dale led to a mind map, structuring social and economical aspects. This mind map was distributed to other following Agents in Empathic Home. It set the base for future projects in the program Empathic Home and a recommendation of scenarios for communal developments by Rainer Rosegger.

Scenarios for Fjaler

 

Empathic Scenarios

Following Scenarios had been developed during research in Fjaler (September 2012). Aim of the research process was to identify potential “anchors” to develop “Empathic Homes” in Fjaler, based on existing needs and wants (compare mind-map “Scenarios for Fjaler”, picture above).

Smart space enhancement

Situation:
– Limited resources of rooms (during conferences, meetings etc.)
– Idle space resources in existing homes in Fjaler
– No urgent need for economic capital in Fjaler
– Aging societies and increasingly social isolation of dwellers

Proposal:
– Conversion of vacant space into temporary B&B’s / Meeting places
– Integrate concepts of “working and living”
– Create alternative approaches for remuneration systems

Efficient spatial development

Situation:
– Intense land consumption through single-family housing development
– Need for sensible spatial development (ecological sustainability) Need for compact “living communities” (social sustainability)
– Need for efficient communal management (economic sustainability)

Proposal:
– Develop prefabricated housing units
– Densification of existing land plots with existing houses and infrastructure
– Densification of social life and create “new neighborhoods”

Efficient social development

Situation:
– Fjaler want to attract more people from creative scene (artists, designers,…)
– New inhabitants from the creative scene search adequate living space
– Lack of affordable living space in Fjaler
– This lifestyles (creative scene) prefer new concepts of “living in community”
– The focus group is interested in a sufficient sustainable

Proposal:
– Create new concepts of compact housing (ecological, social, economically)
– Mixture of private and shared spaces as well as infrastruc tures
– Establish a sharing community
– Create an incubator for “new social conditions”

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