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International Co-operative Association (ICA)

Authors: Facundo Picabea (UNQ); Iris Kunze (BOKU); Agustín Bidinost (UNQ); Andera Phillip (BOKU); Lucas Becerra
Publication date: 2015
Keywords: co-operatives, housing, right to the city, urban habitat

The main innovative aspect of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) networks is its ability to articulate, coordinate, organize and promote the cooperative movement worldwide. With an international committee and four regional offices, the International Co-operative Alliance brings together the visions, interests and activities in over 100 countries and millions of cooperatives. ICA does not exercise the agency directly, but through the member countries of the organization. However, over the years (established in 1895), the different regional offices were evolved in creating mechanisms to influence public policy at the local level, with significant results. Currently, the incidence is a central axis of the cooperative movement. In the TRANSIT project, we focused on the co-operative housing international: the part of the network that focuses on co-housing issues.

Concerning the local cases there is a great variety. We have chosen first, El Hogar Obrero (Worker’s Home), located in Buenos Aires City, Argentina. El Hogar Obrero (EHO) is a centenary consumption and housing cooperative founded in 1905. Second, Vauban District of the city of Freiburg in Germany, is not a single co-housing project, but a special model district of sustainable living and participatory planning in which several co-housing initiatives could be realized.

Relevance for TRANSIT

The co-housing movement is interesting for TRANSIT Project because it allows the analysis of TSI in terms of long-term and scaled-up processes. Also the relevance of space for social innovation can be observed. The spatial and temporal framework can be enhanced, and also the revision of the concept of TSI  could be analysed in terms of long-term big-scale re-settlement and adjustment of practices in relation with: i) changes in the context, ii) emergence of new narratives, iii) and changes inside of the TSI-initiative.


Social Innovation Initiatives in the Critical Turning Points-database 






Social Innovation Initiatives studied in-depth

El Hogar Obrero (Argentina) 

Vauban (Germany) 



Becerra, L. and Kunze, I. (2016) Transformative social innovation : co-operative housing : a summary of the case study report on co-operative housing, TRANSIT: EU SSH.2013.3.2-1 Grant agreement no: 613169

Kunze, I. and Philipp, A. (2016) The eco-district of Vauban and the co-housing project GENOVA. In : Picabea, F.; Kunze, I.; Bidinost, A.; Philipp, A. and Becerra L. Case study report : Cohousing, TRANSIT: EU SSH.203.3.2-1 Grant agreement no. 613169

Picabea, F., Kunze, I., Bidinost, A., Phillip, A. and Becerra, L. (2016) WP 4 : case study report : co-operative housing, TRANSIT: EU SSH.2013.3.2-1 Grant agreement no: 613169.


Research Coordination: UNQ – Lucas Becerra and BOKU - Iris Kunze


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