Plenary 1

Wednesday, June 27, 09.00-10.30, Aula, University Main Building

Setting the context: Migration, densification, and segregation in Sweden 

The conference will open with a welcome to ENHR 2018 from Terry Hartig, the chair of the Local Organizing Committee, who will also tell about what is being done at the conference to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the ENHR. Peter Boelhouwer, chair of the ENHR, will also have some words of welcome. On the occasion of the 30th anniversary, he will encourage all to think about why we have the ENHR to begin with, where we are now with the ENHR and the concerns it addresses, and where we will be 30 years from now.

Following tradition within the ENHR, the first plenary session will then provide background on the thematic concerns of the conference as manifest in the host city and country. The session will begin with a talk by Erik Pelling, a member of Uppsala’s municipal government, who will share his perspectives on the conference theme based on his involvement with local housing policy. The next speaker, Inger Ashing, will tell about the new Swedish governmental agency she leads, the Delegation against Segregation. Roger Andersson will then speak on segregation in relation to the large housing estates built over the latter half of the 1900s to accommodate the growing population of the Stockholm metropolitan region, and the policies enacted to counteract segregation in these estates. Finally, Bo Bengtsson will speak about Swedish housing policy more generally, and how the need to comply with EU directives, together with a shortage of especially affordable housing, is weakening the foundations of the Swedish system of housing provision. 

Welcome by the Chair of the Local Organizing Committee

Terry Hartig, Professor of Environmental Psychology, Institute for Housing and Urban Research, Uppsala University (and moderator for this plenary session)

Welcome by the Chair of the ENHR

Peter Boelhouwer, Professor of Housing Systems, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

A communal politician reflects on 'More together, more apart' in Uppsala

Erik Pelling, Member of the Uppsala City Council

Abstract: Erik Pelling will share his perspectives on the conference theme based on his long involvement with local housing policy in this rapidly growing and densifying city, part of the metropolitan region centered on the capital city Stockholm.

The Delegation against Segregation

Inger Ashing, General Director, Delegation against Segregation, Swedish Government

Abstract: Inger Ashing will tell about the new Swedish governmental agency she leads, the Delegation against Segregation, which was recently created to address the constellation of increasingly pressing issues related to segregation.

Segregation, large housing estates and counter-segregation policies in Sweden

Roger Andersson, Professor of Human Geography, Institute for Housing and Urban Research, Uppsala University

Abstract: From January 1st 2018 Sweden has a new State counter-segregation authority, called Delegationen mot Segregation (Delmos). Its long term goal “is to improve conditions in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighbourhoods and counteract structural causes producing segregation”. This presentation provides a background for understanding why the present Swedish government sees the segregation issue as pivotal for the country. Focusing empirically on the Stockholm region, the long-term segregation development will be summarized with a particular focus on income and ethnic segregation. The presentation will zoom in on the large housing estates built from the 1950s to the 1980s and address the question why only some of circa 50 estates studied, far from all, have come to symbolize the public image of segregation in Stockholm and led to repeated policy interventions. Why is it so that some estates continue to do well in socioeconomic terms while others see concentrations of relative poverty and refugee migrants, attended by territorial stigmatization and increasing concern over crime and safety issues? Rather than stressing the role of building scale, density, layout and architecture in understanding the diverging developments, explanations will emphasize structural causes related to macroeconomic developments, policy changes, and the changing role of tenure. Within that context, selective migration flows (who moves into, out from, and who stays in different types of neighbourhoods) have tended to reproduce and deepen residential segregation by class and ethnicity.  The question then is: Can political reforms “counteract the structural causes producing segregation”?

The Swedish housing regime in crisis

Bo Bengtsson, Senior Professor of Political Science, Institute for Housing and Urban Research, Uppsala University

Abstract: At least formally, Sweden’s housing regime has been the most comprehensive or ‘universal’ in Europe. It is based on a programmatic right to housing rather than a legal individual right; since the 1940s there has been no institutionalized system of means-tested housing. Instead, the housing regime has stood on five institutional pillars: (1) a universally oriented policy without individual means-testing; (2) a public rental sector based on municipal housing companies and open to all types of households; (3) a political idea about tenure neutrality; (4) an integrated rental market with both public and private landlords providing for all types type of households; (5) a centralized collective system of rent negotiations where tenants are represented by a uniquely strong national tenant union.

Recently all five pillars of the regime have come under pressure due to adaptation to EU competition policy and a combination of general housing shortage and inadequate access to affordable housing. This keynote address analyses how the ongoing crisis in the housing market has affected the five pillars of the Swedish housing regime and discusses the future of Swedish housing more generally.