Sustainability through Resilient Collaborative Housing Networks: A Case Study of an Australian Pop-Up Shelter

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3 Citations (Scopus)


The UN Sustainable Development Goal “Sustainable Cities and Communities” foregrounds access to adequate, safe, and affordable housing. However, housing as a sector has faced significant sustainability challenges. Countries such as Australia face unaffordable house prices, bottlenecks in social housing supply, and escalating homelessness. To address these challenges, the sector has turned to traditional government-led interventions meant to influence supply and demand. We argue that alongside these traditional approaches, there is a need for multi-stakeholder collaboration in resilient networks that create novel niche solutions, one being pop-up shelters or dwellings established in vacant structures. This study’s main aim is to identify key elements of these resilient, collaborative actor–networks. We mobilise actor–network theory concepts in a qualitative case study involving one of Australia’s first pop-up shelters. Findings from semi-structured interviews suggest that resilient networks exhibit distributed leadership, the ability to selectively interrogate entrenched routines, and the ability to mobilise differentiated levels of convergence. Such resilient networks play an important role in the development of environmentally and socially sustainable housing solutions. While often ad hoc, these networks can be made systematic through the selective use of digital technologies which do not compromise the more contingent, adaptive features of networks which are critical to resilience.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1271
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022


  • Actor–network theory
  • Adaptive reuse
  • Collaboration
  • Digital collaboration
  • Pop-up shelter
  • Resilience


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