Housing as a Global Urban Common. Strategies and Networks for the transnational mobilization of alternative housing policies

In response to the increasing shortage of affordable housing, numerous local protest movements and networks of alternative housing models have been emerging over the past years. The ideas of these housing movements circulate globally; they influence each other and intervene in terms of global urban commons in housing policy decisions, temporarily or in the long term. However, very little is known about local but also multiscalar networking processes of urban social movements in general and housing movements in particular. At this point, there is an interesting research gap emerging regarding the local and at the same time transnational networks and mobilization of practices and actors in the frame of so-called housing commons. In order to close this research gap, this project attempts to analyse the actors, the reasons, the mechanisms and the impact of globally circulating alternative approaches to housing and related multiscalar networks. Conceptually, I will discuss housing as a form of urban common by applying the approach of mobile policies and network concepts. Empirically, the study focuses on multiscalar strategies of housing commoning by means of four examples from European countries: on the one hand, it will examine de-commodified, self-managed housing forms that have spread nationwide or even globally: 1) the Miethäusersyndikat (tenant syndicate) in Germany, and 2) Community Land Trusts in Great Britain. On the other hand, the study will explore examples of new housing movements: 3) the national network of the PAH (platform of mortgage creditors) in Spain and 4) the European Action Coalition, a transnational network of local housing movements. Methodologically, the project relies on an analysis of relational situations by means of problem-centered interviews with key activists and speakers of intermediary institutions such as NGOs, and participant observations at network meetings, etc. These methods constitute the basis for a qualitative network analysis, which serves to examine the networks of the commoners and how they mobilize their strategies. In addition to that, I will conduct expert interviews with speakers from city administrations, among others, to analyse the spatial-political effects of circulating practices of commoning in the field of housing. By taking a relational-comparative perspectives in order to study selected cases of housing commoning, this projects seeks to provide insights into the functioning and impact of the transnational diffusion of alternative approaches to housing and associated networks of social movements in different societal contexts. By means of that, this investigation intends to make an important contribution to the research on networks and mobile policies of urban social movements. Moreover, the prospective study is of high sociopolitical importance for the housing question which has gained relevance in our cities again.

Principal Investigators
Hölzl, Corinna Dr. (Details) (Applied Geography / Urban and Regional Planning)

Duration of Project
Start date: 10/2017
End date: 07/2023

Research Areas

Last updated on 2021-03-06 at 15:56