Investigating (pro-refugee) housing alternatives as integrative and political tools for (re)building egalitarian urbanities in times of crises. The cases of Brussels, Vienna, Madrid and Athens.
A main outcome of the recent housing cum refugee crisis in Europe are socially innovative, solidarity-inspired and pro-refugee approaches to social cohesion featured in alternative forms of housing commons (Community Land Trusts, co-housing, housing associations). These housing alternatives are increasingly taken up by civil society movements and occasionally supported by institutional structures, yet their integrative role and socio-politically transformative potential remain insufficiently examined. To respond to this under-invested area of scientific inquiry, this project makes use of theoretical reflections on transition in housing systems and empirical data from four European cities with a triple ambition: (1) to provide a comprehensive overview of the various transition pathways designed and materialized by alternative housing providers and their networks across Europe; (2) to identify the main features of the politico-institutional frameworks and transformations (legislation, policy, political climate) in which these transition patterns materialize; and (3) to push the boundaries of knowledge on housing recovery by developing new areas of inquiry where the focus is placed on housing provision to displaced populations in new national territories. By reflecting on governance experiences and imaginaries through postfoundational lenses, this research aspires to provide suggestions for improving housing governance systems and materializing European egalitarian urbanities.