DC, January 29, 2013

Housing, Energy and Sustainability in Argentina

Challenges and Solutions

FOVISEE (Housing, Sustainability and Energies Forum) is a nonprofit based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, dedicated to creating "laboratories in the neighborhood" where we demonstrate the feasibility of applying sustainability criteria to low-income housing, and produce replicable project models for government and the private sector.

In addition FOVISEE aims to provoke a "cultural change" in Argentine society by diffusing the importance of sustainability, housing and energy through workshops, conferences, and the media. FOVISEE projects are diverse and range from the installation of solar thermal energy in public housing to the creation of an Instructions Manual for the Sustainable Use of the Home.

The presentation contextualized the current housing and energy situation in Argentina from a macro and micro perspective. FOVISEE staff presented on the actual "energy, housing, and sustainability" triangle in Argentina, identifying barriers and demonstrating through FOVISEE's projects how sustainability in housing, in particular low-income housing, can be achieved.

Recently FOVISEE designed a project which was awarded a grant from the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires to develop a pilot experience of the U.S. Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) in Argentina. Part of the presentation focused on the process of adapting policy from abroad to the Argentine context, and feedback was welcomed. As with the case of WAP, there are many successful housing and energy policies in the U.S. that could serve as project models for the Argentine public and private sectors. The presentation opened up a dialogue where policies, NGO projects, and consumer strategies will be considered, with feedback and collaboration from U.S. planners encouraged.


About the Speakers

Nicolás MaggioNicolás Maggio graduated with a degree in sociology from the University of Buenos Aires (UBA). He specializes in energy efficiency in low-income households, approaching these themes from social, technical, and public policy perspectives. In 2010 he founded FOVISEE (Housing, Sustainability and Energies Forum) where he serves as President and CEO, and is responsible for all field projects, research activities, and FOVISEE conferences.

Ashley ValleAshley Valle is pursuing a master's degree in development management and policy in a joint program with Georgetown University and the National University of General San Martin in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She joined FOVISEE almost two years ago, assisting in several projects. She is now working on her master's thesis: "The greening of affordable housing policy in the U.S. and Argentina: Roadmaps to Sustainability in Low-Income Housing."