16. Metropolitan Dynamics: Urban Change, Markets and Governance

Working Group Coordinator

Iván Tosics tosics@mri.hu
Metropolitan Research Institute, Budapest, Hungary

Christiane Thouzellier cthouzel@univ-tlse2.fr
LISST-Cieu, Université de Toulouse 2 Jean-Jaures, France

Description of the Working Group

The Working Group aims to deal with the spatial dimensions of housing policies. Changes in housing, whether through new construction, refurbishment, demolition, tenure change, etc. always have a spatial dimension, through which housing can be considered as a tool to address urban development challenges (densification, suburbanization) and social problems (affordability, homelessness, segregation) through spatially defined strategies.

Taking this spatial aspect into consideration, the Working Group aspires to multi-disciplinary analysis regarding how housing processes can be steered with governance and spatial planning tools in urban areas – from the neighbourhood through the city to the metropolitan area level. Thus the spatial level can be smaller but also larger than the area covered by the administrative city borders. The Working Group also recognises that ‘housing’ is much influenced by other policies and sectors, such as planning, transport, environment, local government services and financing, financial regulation, welfare and taxation.

Within the broader topic area outlined above, a special interest area of the Working Group is the operation of local housing markets in the functional urban area. The territories around the core city, from where city jobs are accessible by daily commuting, play special role in the urban housing market, both on the higher (rich suburbs) and on the lower end of the housing hierarchy (transitory areas for those who cannot afford housing within the city). On this metropolitan scale many critical challenges can be handled: urban sprawl and unsustainability, affordability and accessibility, infrastructure and services, segregation or fiscal imbalances. A widespread failure to match housing supply and demand in terms of location, quantity or type of housing may be attributable to problems at this scale. Across a range of countries, change and reform is bringing a new focus to this metropolitan scale, whether from downward devolution to city regions or upward consolidation of local government, often in a climate of fiscal stress.

Plans for the Workshop in Uppsala

The theme of the ENHR 2018 conference is ' More together, more apart: Migration, densification, segregation’. It refers to migration across international borders, and also rural-urban migration within countries, as a result of which growing numbers of people are concentrating in urban areas. This evokes considerations to increase residential densities within urban areas which obviously have consequences for physical and social boundaries between neighborhoods and communities, defined with regard to ethnicity and socio-economic status.

This workshop welcomes papers on the topic of spatial analysis of housing policies and processes, in connection with the dynamics of migration, densification and segregation. Besides the traditional analysis of municipal housing policies, we are particularly interested in descriptions and interpretations of how the metropolitan (functional urban area) dimension emerges in discussions about future housing and urban policies. To what extent do innovative cities recognize the importance of the metropolitan areas outside their city borders and include these into their longer term urban and housing policies? What types of housing policy tools are needed for such new types of territorially integrated policies and how can these be institutionalized within the framework of metropolitan level policy making and governance systems?