About Us

ETH Wohnforum – ETH CASE Centre for Research on Architecture, Society & the Built Environment is dedicated to interdisciplinary research, education and advisory services focusing on housing, neighbourhoods and urban development from a socio-economic, cultural and policy perspective. It was founded in 1990 and is part of the NSL – Network City and Landscape – of the Department of Architecture of the ETH Zurich.

As a pioneer in housing and urban development research in Switzerland, the ETH Wohnforum – ETH CASE explores how people house themselves and live together, and how they plan and use their built environment with a focus on wide range of interlinked thematic areas, such as:

  • Innovative housing and residential practices, including new forms of cooperative housing and co-housing, in the context of rapidly changing socio-cultural contexts;
  • The impact of demographic phenomena such as declining mortality and fertility rates on qualitative and quantitative housing demands and on their repercussion on socio-spatial landscapes;
  • Housing and land use policies and their consequences on urban densification, neighbourhood development strategies, quality of life and sustainable lifestyles;
  • Adequate and affordable housing for a wide range of people, including low-income families, elderly and disabled people, migrants, refugees and people displaced by conflicts and disasters;

We are a multi-disciplinary team of researchers from the fields of sociology, anthropology, cultural studies, architecture, geography, and art history who believe in an integrated and holistic approach to the generation of knowledge on housing and human settlements. We are committed towards participatory, people-centred, age-, gender- and minority-sensitive housing approaches.

Our research projects are supported, amongst others, by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), the Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI), public administrations, foundations, along with institutional partners from the building and housing sectors. We cooperate with national and international universities and partner institutions and share our knowledge through scientific publications, professional books, conferences, teaching, exhibitions, reports, and policy briefs targeting scholars, management bodies and building professionals.