PhD Course: Housing, the City and Justice

PhD course within the National Research Education Program in Human Geography

Department of Urban Studies, Malmö University
Department of Social and Economic Geography and Institute for Housing and Urban Research, Uppsala University
Department of Human Geography, Lund University


Spring 2016

Organised by the FORMAS strong research platform CRUSH ( Contact:

Course code: KSUS012 Credits: 7.5 ECTS

This course seeks to explore in what ways the Nordic and European housing markets are assuming a dysfunctional state, and what politics and policies can be implemented to solve this. In northern Europe, the acute housing shortage is a fact, while southern European countries are facing a systematic wave of foreclosures and evictions in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. Meanwhile, housing prices and rent levels in major urban centres are skyrocketing, and throughout Europe ever larger chunks of affordable rental stock are systematically bought, renovated and put back on the market at significantly higher prices. The increasing shortage of affordable (rental) accommodation leads to acute housing problems for low-income families, young people, single parents, old people, and immigrants with a weak economy, even though many international declarations and national constitutions guarantee the right to housing. The housing market appears to be characterized by a classic implementation deficit: everybody agrees that a healthy housing market is a vital component of a well-functioning city, but nobody appears to know how to achieve such an outcome through planning or other social processes. Meanwhile, developers, landlords and the real estate sector call for yet another round of deregulation to stimulate the housing market, while people have started to organize themselves to resist evictions and fight renovation projects. The course investigates economic, political and social perspectives on the global housing crisis, and it emphasises alternative strategies for housing. This will be pursued through three sessions of two to three days in Uppsala, Lund and Malmö with lectures, seminars and excursions to places where the housing questionbecomes very visible.

The course is open to all students interested in urban questions and in particular housing questions.

1. Housing crisis (Uppsala) (7-8 April 2016)
Key themes: global housing crisis; racialised and gendered housing markets, political economy of

housing, renoviction, movements
Lecturers: Irene Molina, Brett Christophers, Sara Westin Guest lecturer: Manuel B. Aalbers (Geography, Leuven) Excursion: renovation and eviction in Gränby

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2. Housing precariat (Malmö) (28-29 April 2016)

Key themes: housing inequalities, public housing, displacement, housing stories Lecturers: Carina Listerborn, Guy Baeten, Stig Westerdahl
Guest lecturer: Kirsteen Paton (Sociology and Social Policy, Leeds)
Excursion: wealthy housing areas (Bellevue, Victoria Park)

3. Housing justice (Lund) (1-3 June 2016)

Key themes: housing justice, housing commons, use and exchange value Lecturers: Anders Lund Hansen, Henrik Gutzon Larsen
Guest lecturer: Stuart Hodkinson (Geography, Leeds)
Excursion: gentrification in Copenhagen

Examination: Participation in seminars and excursions; an essay (circa 15 pages) Literature: circa 1200 pages

Preliminary literature examples:

Aalbers, M.B. (2015), The Great Moderation, the Great Excess and the global housing crisis. International Journal of Housing Policy 15(1): 43-60.

Allen, C (2008), Housing market renewal and social class, Routledge
Andersson, R. & Molina I. (2003), Racialization and Migration in Urban Segregation Processes. Key

issues for critical geographers. In Öhman, Jan & Kirsten Simonsen (eds), "Voices from the North -

New Trends in Nordic Human Geography". Ashgate.
Baeten, G. & Listerborn, C. (forthcoming, 2015), Renewing urban renewal in Landskrona, Sweden:

pursuing displacement through housing policies. Geografiska Annaler Series B. Grundström, K. & I. Molina (forthcoming, 2016), Segregation and Urban Form 1930-2015: from

Folkhem to Life-style Housing in Sweden, International Journal of Housing Policy
Dorling, D. (2014), All that is solid: the great housing disaster. London: Allen Lane.
Hayden, D. (1980), What would a non-sexist city be like?
Signs. Journal of Women in Culture and

Society, 1980: 5(3)
Hodkinson, S. (2012), The return of the housing question.
Ephemera 12(4): 423-444.
Larsen, H.G. & Lund Hansen, A. (forthcoming, 2015) Commodifying Danish housing commons.

Geografiska Annaler B.
Kearn, L. & Mullings, B. (2013) Urban Neoliberalism and Violence, in Peake, L. & Rieker, M. (Eds)

(2013) Rethinking Feminist Interventions into the Urban, Routledge
Lees, L., H. Bang Shin, E. López-Morales (2015) (Eds.), Global Gentrifications. Uneven development and

displacement. Bristol: Policy Press.
Paton, K. (2014),
Gentrification. A Working-class Perspective, Routledge
Smith, S. J. (2015) Owner occupation: at home in a spatial, financial paradox.
International Journal of Housing Policy 15(1): 61-83