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    The Destiny of a Housing Estate 1. La Villeneuve, Grenoble

    Text: Melinda Benkő


    One of the prioritized topics of urban rehabilitation of the European Union is the housing estate. In Western Europe about 8-10% of the housing stock, whilst in Central and Eastern Europe some 15-60% of flats are contained in housing estates built between the early 1960s and late 80s (their rate varies to such extent from country to country). Official statistics show that the national average in Hungary is 17%, but in Budapest it is up to 29%, and in cities of country rank 43%. Prefab housing estates are products of modern and post-modern urban architecture of years when clients and designers built both in large quantities and at a speed. In spite of this some of the „new cities” were realised as based on in-depth design theoretical and social scientific background on the appropriate site and high-standard execution. By now they have formed parts of our 20th century urban and architectural heritage and yet they fail to function. Our series of articles starting now presents the principles of design, issues and complex present-day renewing procedures associated with European housing estates celebrated for 30-50 years. The first article surveys the current situation of the Arlequin quarter built in Grenoble in 1972.