News & Events

Cosmopolis lunch seminar with A.Zubrzycka (Warsaw): D-Housing. Democracy of housing policy: how can we measure the role of social actors in the creation of urban policy?

3 May 2018 , 12.00-13.30h VUB: Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels, Building F, Room F 4.66

Housing is an important part of urban policy. Housing policy is perceived as the key to socio-urban cohesion in cities. Having a roof over one's head is one of the basic human needs. Decent housing conditions allow individuals, families and communities to function properly. The housing crisis – reported in many European countries (e.g. in Poland, Spain, Portugal, France and Belgium) – proves that the housing needs of the population are not fulfilled. It is also revealed in the statistics concerning the problem of homelessness. This situation appears to be a challenge for researchers and for other professionals working on housing as policymakers. The issue encompasses not only the lack of budgetary means for expensive housing investments, but also the lack of concepts how to develop a housing policy suitable for the 21st century. The housing literature notes that new social problems within the sphere of housing in the extremely dynamic political situation of the 21st century, require new theoretical-analytical approaches. The development of a housing policy vision which could possibly address modern housing problems is possible only by the use of theoretical tools and data obtained from research. Housing is a research area that constitutes the subject of interest of numerous scientific disciplines. Research approaches have been developed both on the basis of individual disciplines, and inter- and multi-disciplinary approaches. In “International Encyclopaedia of Housing and Home” (2012), for example, more than 70 theoretical-analytical approaches to housing research were indicated, but the democracy aspect of the political process within the sphere of housing has not been addressed sufficiently by any theoretical perspective. In this situation, I propose a research scheme, which I called “the concept of democracy of housing policy (D-Housing)”. The preliminary version of this scheme was presented in a research article published in 2016 in the “Housing Studies” journal. I’m currently developing this concept in a book on the role of social actors in the creation of housing policy. The aim of the presentation is to subject this concept to international assessment.

Speaker: Aleksandra Zubrzycka-Czarnecka – University of Warsaw

Aleksandra Zubrzycka-Czarnecka works on housing policy at the Institute of Social Policy, Faculty of Political Science and International Studies, University of Warsaw. Her PhD research investigated neoliberal changes in French housing policy. Her current principal research area is the role of social actors in the creation of urban policy (especially in the area of housing). In her research, she combines a constructivist approach, discourse analysis and critical approach.