Tracing transition pathways towards egalitarian urbanities through housing alternatives for refugees. The case studies of Vienna and Madrid.

Authors: Angeliki Paidakaki*, KU Leuven
Topics: Urban Geography, Political Geography, Migration
Keywords: (affordable) housing alternatives, refugee integration, egalitarian urbanity, post-foundational governance, transition urbanism
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/7/2019
Start / End Time: 3:55 PM / 5:35 PM
Room: Balcony A, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Over the past few years Europe has been host to a double housing-refugee crisis. The major challenge
of providing (semi-)permanent housing to large numbers of refugees coincided with a pre-existing
housing affordability crisis caused by decreasing public budgets for social welfare, insufficient
regulation of housing markets and pro-speculation logics in various European housing systems. A main
outcome of this housing cum refugee crisis are socially innovative, solidarity-inspired and pro-refugee
approaches to social cohesion featured in alternative forms of housing commons (Community Land
Trusts, co-housing, cooperatives, housing associations). These housing alternatives are increasingly
taken up by civil society movements and occasionally supported by institutional structures (financial institutions, state agencies, think tanks, lobbying firms), yet their integrative role and socio-politically transformative potential remain insufficiently examined. To respond to this under-invested area of scientific inquiry, this paper makes use of theoretical
reflections on post-foundational governance and transition in housing systems, as well as empirical data
from the cities of Vienna and Madrid, with a double ambition: (1) to provide an inceptive overview of
the various transition pathways designed and materialized by alternative housing providers and their
networks; (2) to identify the main features of the politico-institutional frameworks and transformations
(legislation, policy, political climate) in which these transition patterns materialize. By reflecting on
governance experiences and imaginaries through postfoundational and transition-urbanity lenses, this
paper discusses the politico-institutional conditions for transition in housing systems for refugees at the
two cities under investigation and provides suggestions for improving housing governance
arrangements and materializing European egalitarian urbanities.

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