08 October, 2018

3rd Affordable Housing Forum: Towards New Cultures of Affordable Housing?

Save the date, because I hope to see you there, as I (Constance) will be presenting a paper. A glimpse of my paper is provided below. A more detailed program will follow in due course.

This paper explores non-market housing in urban regions under growth pressure, and aims to open up a conversation about how modes of housing and related policies might be conceptualized in urban geographical scholarship, in order to broaden the possible range of housing policy measures beyond the rather narrow imperative of market solutions that prevail. The project is extension of a larger project that Markus Hesse and I have been working on for many years, examining spatial planning problems and governance in urban regions under in Luxembourg and Switzerland. Now we are moving on towards one component that is central to the topic: housing and housing in non-market contexts. But how might one effectively conceptualize housing, given what we know about recent scholarship in urban studies? I argue that, first, there is much to be learned with urban comparison. For inspiration here, I draw on the works of Schmid et al. (2018) who understand that there is a vast diversity of urbanization processes that produce an equally diverse and differentiated palate of urban spaces. This challenges urban geographical scholarship to understand urban space as well as the way processes that constitute those spaces (housing) as context specific. The policy mobilities literature (Ward 2017) iterates a similar message: Urban studies cannot simply be about finding solutions/recipes to particulate problems because context matters. I also argue that Storper's (2014) application of bricolage in conceptualising urban transformation is also useful for conceptualising non-market housing processes in the context of that are forever changing and in flux.

Schmid, C., Karaman, O., Hanakata, N.C., Kallenberger, P., Kockelkorn, A., Sawyer, L., Streule, M. & Wong, K.P. 2017. Towards a new vocabulary of urbanization processes: A comparative approach. Urban Studies, 55(1) 19-52.

Storper, M. 2014. Governing the Large Metropolis. Territory, Politics, Governance, 2, 115-134.
Ward, K. 2009. Towards a relational comparative approach of cities. Progress in Human Geography. 34 issue: 4, page(s): 471-487.

-- Constance Carr

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