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Untitled Document
Southern European Housing

Proposed in 2014, established in 2016

Coordinators
Elena Bargelli
Dipartimento di Scienze politiche
Universita di Pisa
elena.bargelli@unipi.it / e.bargelli@googlemail.com
Thorsten Heitkamp
Faculty of Spatial Planning
Department of Spatial Planning in Europe
TU Dortmund
thorsten.heitkamp@udo.edu

Sandra Marques Pereira
DINÂMIA'CET/ ISCTE-IUL
Instituto Universitário de Lisboa
ssgmp@iscte.pt / s.marquespereira11@gmail.com
 

The central themes of the Working Group
The central themes of this WG include but are not limited to:

  • Housing market paths after the bust - learning from the past, thinking of the future: trends and facts, possible policy implications
  • Coping with vulnerability and affordability in housing: consequences (foreclosures, non-performing mortgages, negative equity, homelessness, etc.), risk factors / groups and coping strategies (individual / familiar versus institutional action – financial sector, government activities, civil society movements)
  • Public housing policies in an era of shrinking welfare states and weak national governments
  • The future of social housing: heading towards marginalization or a more important role in affordable housing provision?
  • The real estate sector after the boom (lessons learnt: dealing with the overstock, new construction versus investment in the existing housing stock, territorial impacts, impact on different professions, etc.)
  • Emerging practices and perceptions in tenure status: homeownership and renting
  • Legislative regulation: corrective function / preventive function
  • Exploring Southern European housing models and residential architecture in a global context: what special features in terms of competitiveness they possess?
  • Mobility, residential trajectories and territorial dynamics: emerging patterns and regional specificities
  • Dealing with financial stress in the housing systems: access to mortgage credit and homeownership, borrowers with repayment difficulties
  • Housing in former overseas territories: coping with difficult framework conditions

Future activities

  • Workshop at the ENHR annual conference in Tirana 2017.
  • Publication of a book series with Pisa University Press/Italy. It will capture perspectives on housing from different disciplinary backgrounds like economics, law, urban sociology, architecture, urban development, et cetera. The publication welcomes contributions on Southern European housing, but remains open to comparative research with other European countries. As a first concrete step the coordinators have recently launched a call for papers that shall deal with 'New Developments in Southern European Housing after the Crisis'.
  • National Working Group Meetings (Madrid/Spain in February/March 2017, Italy and Portugal to be determined)
  • Coordination group meetings (by Skype, on site to be determined)
  • Interactive forum, e.g. for information on new publications
  • Regular survey (e. g. twice a year) on the most important research results and publications of the members of the Working Group. Publication on the website of the Working Group and in the ENHR newsletter (if relevant).
  • Erasmus agreements as a prerequisite for the exchange of personnel for research / teaching purposes
  • Joint comparative research projects to be proposed until the end of 2017 • Increasing the membership base (particularly in South East European countries like Albania, Romania, Bulgaria)

Past activities

  1. December 2013: First informal meeting in Görlitz/Germany (funded by DAAD, German Academic Exchange Service)

  2. March 2014: Official launch of the Southern European Working Group

  3. October 2014: Working Group meeting in Lisbon (25.10.2014), which addressed following topics:
    • Discussion of the final structure of an intended book publication
    • Presentation of the website
    • Discussion of the Working Group’s research strategy for the years 2015-2020
    • Discussion of the of the Working Group’s dissemination strategy and participation in the ENHR Lisbon Conference

  4. June/July 2015: Southern European Housing workshop at the ENHR Lisbon Conference 2015 The very first workshop of the Southern European Housing Working Group took place during the ENHR Conference 2015 in Lisbon. A total of 23 papers were presented by 31 authors who came from southern European countries in their majority (13 from Portugal, 8 from Italy and 7 from Spain). Three main topics were discussed: i) social housing and large housing estates (public or private); ii) urban renewal policies; and iii) the impact of the crisis in the housing market. The main focus was on comparative studies, but also the wide variety of inputs must be mentioned, with researchers from the field of law, architecture, urban development, geography, sociology and economics.

  5. May 2016: Survey on future themes and content of the Working Group (among the Working Group members)

  6. June/July 2016: Southern European Housing Workshop at the ENHR Belfast Conference 2016. A total of 23 researchers - mainly coming from Spain, Italy and Portugal - participated in the second workshop of the Southern European Housing Working Group at an ENHR conference. The Workshop had four sessions focusing on the following themes: i) Paradoxes of the crisis: Vacant Dwellings versus Eviction; ii) Emerging Housing Needs and Alternative Solutions; iii) Southern European Cities Specificities: governance, urban planning and the new risks of touristification; iv) Reviewing Homeownership.

  7. September 2016: researchers from the Southern European Housing Working Group specializing in the field of housing law participated as speakers at the conference “TenLaw one year later: Alternative Housing Tenures in Europe and modern challenges of housing”, held in Tarragona on 29-30 September 2016. http://housing.urv.cat/tenlaw-one-year-later-alternative-housing-tenures-in-europe-and-modern-challenges-of-housing

  8. September 2016: researchers from the Southern European Housing Working Group specializing in the fields of housing, urban development and urban sociology formed part of the scientific committee and participated as speakers at the “I Congreso Hispánico ISUF-H: Forma urbana: pasado, presente y perspectivas”, held in Toledo/Spain, 15-16 September 2016. http://eventos.uclm.es/event_detail/3473/detail/forma-urbana-congreso-hispanico-isuf-h-2016-toledo.html

  9. September 2016: Publication agreement with Pisa University Press with respect to a book series including “Housing in Southern Europe”, subsequent call for papers for the first volume on 'New Developments in Southern European Housing after the Crisis'.

Policy implications
Policy implications are expected to be generated especially through national meetings of the Southern European Housing Working Group members. These meeting are aimed at a controversial sharing of research findings, future housing policies and programs, as well as discussions on the interplay of Housing with Urban Development, land use, demographic change, etc. All relevant stakeholders in the field of housing should be invited to these national meetings. Nevertheless, it is still too early to talk about housing policy implications resulting from the work of the working group. This is partly due to the little attention dedicated to Southern European Housing issues by scientists. At this stage the coordinated cooperation of housing experts who work in all areas of housing has led to a higher awareness of the difficult housing situation of parts of the population in Southern European countries. As mentioned, future findings may be incorporated in part in political decision-making processes. However, this requires detailed previous discussion and an intensive exchange of views on housing policy issues in Southern European countries.