Profile of Miss Angela Santangelo Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna

Angela Santangelo

Ph.D student in Architecture at the University of Bologna, building engineer, her research focuses on urban planning and in particular on housing policies and social housing sector. From September 2016 to January 2017 she has been visiting Ph.D student at the Building Energy Research Center, Tsinghua University, Beijing. Since May 2017 she has been among the Pioneers of the Climate Kic Pioneers into Practice Programme 2017.

General research interests

My major research interest regards urban planning and the role of human factor to drive urban regeneration, therefore enabling citizens to tackle urban challenges through social innovation is one of the priorities of my research. I am very interested in the role of communities to deliver behaviour changes.

PhD/Postdoctoral Research Title

Achieving energy efficiency through behaviour change in the social housing sector. The role of policy instruments and urban regeneration processes

PhD Abstract

In recent years, the role of consumers’ behaviour for lowering energy consumption and supporting to bridge the gap between expected and effective energy consumption has been studied by many researchers around the world. People consume energy, not the buildings as such, thus occupants play a critical, though poorly understood and often overlooked role in the built environment. Even if the buildings are well insulated and the housing units have an efficient energy source, it will still be the occupants who ultimately determine the efficiency of energy consumption. While in the owner-occupied sector cost-savings are expected to be the main stimulus for energy-efficient renovation, the interventions within the social housing stock not only have an energy-saving value, but also enhance the role of energy efficiency in combination with the social and economic co-benefits (e.g. poverty alleviation, health improvements), thus contributing to avoid stigmatisation and social segregation. In fact, energy-saving solutions are even more interesting in the case of low-income groups in social housing, where energy costs are likely to be higher than the rent. Therefore, despite the limited share of social housing stock compared to private residential stock, due to the strong mix of economic, social and environmental needs, social housing can act as a model for ecological, energy-saving construction as it is clearly connected to public regulations and sustainable housing policies. In many cases could also contribute to the economic recovery of the construction sector.