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Transformation of Housing and Places

Head of research group: Marie Stender

The research group is working on the transformation of housing and places based on the interaction between the built environment and housing, settlement, and social life, especially in urban and rural areas, which are currently changing. The home and places we live in are of great importance to our everyday lives, and a balanced settlement is essential to the cohesion of society. Therefore, it is important to understand the constant transformation of housing and places in Denmark and internationally.


Transformation of housing and places is related to urbanization, demographic and business changes, physical attrition, welfare reprioritization, new housing cultures, and changing lifestyles. This can lead to increased polarization, lack of coherence, new connections between the city and country, and increased inequality internally in metropolitan and peripheral areas where the general housing sector is both physically and socially stressed. In these areas, adaptation, transformation, and development are needed to create more attractive housing and residential areas. Therefore, new knowledge is needed about the dynamics of change in urban and rural areas, including the following:

  • changing housing and settlement preferences,
  • the consequences of the changes (positive and negative),
  • the possible answers to the challenges (potential and new solutions), and
  • how to formulate policies and initiatives that can promote balanced and sustainable development.


The research group uncovers development dynamics and contributes to the theoretical understanding of contexts and empirical knowledge of challenges, initiatives, and solutions. The themes that the group works with include the following:

  • Physical and architectural transformation of exposed residential areas;
  • The importance of architecture to its users;
  • Development and implementation of architectural housing and planning solutions;
  • Relationships between business development, institutional change, and settlement;
  • Changed lifestyles and housing and settlement preferences (e.g. community-oriented housing);
  • Strategic development and new forms of cooperation in relation to development in outer areas, such as village cooperation and village renewal;
  • Urbanization, residential mobility, and regional migration patterns;
  • The location of workplaces and businesses and the effects of foreign direct investment;
  • The location of educational institutions and the importance of these institutions for educational choices and migration patterns;
  • The dynamics of the residential composition of residents and peer and neighbourhood effects; and
  • The effect of technological and environmental change on people.


The research is conducted in collaboration with Danish and international universities, knowledge institutions, and philanthropic foundations. Collaboration takes place in dialogue with central authorities, such as ministries and municipalities, and with companies and organizations. Relevant organizations are public housing organizations, housing groups, and volunteers, where companies are typically construction companies that are active in the development of cities and residential areas, including companies that manage the city infrastructure and resource flows.


State and municipal authorities, including planners and architects, are central to the application of evidence-based knowledge, new strategic and planning approaches, and adaptation to development opportunities. In addition, all types of organizations and companies working on the socially, economically, and environmentally balanced and sustainable development of cities and residential areas are key players in applying new research.

About the research group