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Cosmopolis Lunch Seminar with Angeliki Paidakaki (PhD KU Leuven): Post-disaster resilience at the era of financialization.

20 October 2016 , Department of Geography, room F4.66, 12h00-14h00

This seminar presentation will mobilize theories of the state, discourse and social innovation in order to critically examine the role of institutional structures – predominantly state and governmental agencies – in incubating resilience in the post-disaster housing construction context.

By plunging into financialization as the main driving force in real-estate production, the main objective of the seminar is to question the realism of the 'resilience ambition' which is to provide and maintain post-disaster housing for all. To achieve this objective, light will be shed on the ways institutional structures have governed a post-Katrina heterogeneous and dynamic landscape of housing policy implementers. These housing policy implementers – referred in this seminar as social resilience cells (SRC) – fight, discursively and materially, for their right to participate in the post-Katrina rebuilding experiment. By examining the long-term post-Katrina repositioning and constant presence of different SRC in various socio-institutional arenas, the seminar further aims to uncover emerging socio-institutional transformations and examine their potential in fostering housing diversity that could lead to more egalitarian post-disaster urbanities. Based on this analysis, the seminar will conclude by examining the extent to which resilience incubation has been materialized in New Orleans, as well as by discussing the conditions under which the resilience ambition can be realized in a post-financialization, neo-welfare United States.


Angeliki Paidakaki is a PhD researcher in the department of Architecture at KU Leuven sponsored by the Flemish Research Foundation (FWO). Her research explores the socially transformative content of post-disaster resilience, examined through the eyes of housing in post-Katrina New Orleans. She holds an MSc in Environment and Sustainable Development from the University College London and an MSc in Natural and Man-Made Disaster Management from Harokopio University of Athens. She has work experience in the policy fields of disaster prevention (European Commission Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection) and homelessness/housing (FEANTSA/Housing Rights Watch).