I will present my paper Hybrid Urban Block: Housing Revitalisation in Amsterdam and Brussels at the 29th Conference of the International Seminar on Urban Form, held in Lodz and Cracow (Poland), September 6-11, 2022. The conference is organized by Lodz University of Technology, University of Lodz and Cracow University of Technology.
Amsterdam and Brussels are experiencing new urban transformations and densifications testing hybrid block as paradigmatic urban form. This ambition is even more evident by the increasing role played in strategic housing developments, where hybridity acts as catalyst incubators for innovative mixed-use projects combining housing. Since housing is considered the most representative element of a city, this paper aims to confirm the relevance of housing in the concept of “hybrid urban block” and identify the urban strategies where it can be recognised as an urban paradigm. For both cities, the first results classify the case studies according to four plinth typologies. Furthermore, the analysis verifies if the hybridization of housing can be considered as innovative space in the framework of the new practices. Paradoxically, the design of the investigated apartments might be seen as one of the feeble points. Indeed, case studies display conventional units, designed according to pragmatic principles. Thus, hybrid urban blocks can be considered as a broad trend for revitalisation strategies to address urban challenges such as density, land scarcity, environmental issues, and climate change. However, they need to meet the urgent housing questions, such as affordability, household diversity, spatial flexibility, and collective living.