According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Art. 25), having a home is a basic human need and an essential good. Its conditions of access, supply, management, distribution, and ownership structure need to be properly thought through to avoid conflicts and rivalries between competing uses (e.g. affordable housing or lofts for couples with double income and no kids or office space), which has consequences on its sustainability.
In our research group, we analyse the sustainability of housing from a neoinstitutional perspective. The institutional resource regime (IRR) analysis approach refers to all formal rules in force within a specific area, which are grounded either in public policies (including use and protection policies) or property rights (including property titles, contracts, conventions, etc.), and which determine use and transfer rights of a given resource (e.g., housing). We argue that a keen understanding of these diverse mechanisms between public policy and property rights is needed in order to analyse the housing resource’s sustainability. We research focuses on issues of socio-ecological justice, (de)commodification of housing stocks, and power relations in the use and distribution of housing.
Governance of Densification for Sustainable Housing Development in Swiss
Municipalities under increasing Densification Pressure
In ResiDENSE, we aim to analyse different local governance mechanisms that support the social acceptance of housing densification through comparative case study analyses. Our research outcomes will provide a detailed answer to the questions how municipalities plan differently for housing densification in the built environment and how they parallelly ensure social sustainability (e.g., housing affordability, access, living quality etc.) of housing development? Parallelly, winners and losers of the new rules of the game (densification) will be identified and the effectiveness and social justice issues related to the densification policies applied will be discussed.
Municipalities can influence the housing market through their actions. However, their actions are tied to appropriate cantonal and national framework conditions and depend on cooperation with housing market players. This research project investigates this local design and handling of housing policy and its contribution to affordable housing for the public.