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The (everyday) Housing Question

urbanize! Int. Festival for urban explorations celebrates its 10th anniversary with the opening of an urban lab focusing on the housing question: From »Red Vienna« to today's housing alternatives, the festival explores the social, ecological, economic and political dimensions of housing: How do we want to live? And how to live together? What does »affordable« actually mean? Who wins the global housing lottery? Does the housing question take us to the barricades? How much climate is in housing? How does life without an apartment work? And what housing models do we need in the future?

Housing is not only a condition for everyday life, but also fundamental for society, since it links concrete daily practices with abstract social conditions. Housing is a non-substitutable good and therefore a UN human right. As everyday and ordinary as housing is, as complex are its social implications. Housing forms are inextricably linked to political and economic conditions and are thus shaped by them.

Since housing has become a profitable asset, fear is circulating in European cities and the human right to housing is endangered. Rising rents are driving tenants with low (or even average) income out of the cities and the question of property is accelerating social inequality. The precarious housing market contributes to the general social uncertainty. This also has consequences for our democracies with the rise of authoritarian leaders in many countries.

The city of Vienna has a 100 year old tradition in social housing: The radical housing programme of »Red Vienna« started in 1919 and still provides the very basis of Vienna‘s social housing programme, which is regarded as an international rolemodel and one of the key factors of prosperity and quality of living in the city. But even in Vienna affordable housing is coming under increasing pressure as the prices for building plots and material rise. In recent years far more investor financed housing has been built than subsidised and cooperative housing with affordable rents.

The return of the housing question is an urgent social task and a concrete challenge for all cities. The housing question assembles a wide range of expertise between everyday practice, planning, politics and science. Alternatives to »housing as a commodity« are currently emerging worldwide: In theory and practice, people are exploring community land trusts, ground rent models, cooperative and collective forms of housing, climate-friendly construction methods, sharing models or alternative financing systems. urbanize! festival's 10th anniversary programme »The (everyday) Housing Question« opens up a participatory urban lab between theory and practice for thinking about concrete utopias. Welcome - join us!

urbanize! Int. Festival for Urban Explorations has been organised by dérive - Society for Critical Urban Research in Vienna, Berlin (2018) and Hamburg (2016) since 2010. The independent society for critical urban research is also editor of the quarterly dérive journal since 20 years and produces a monthly podcast on the city named Radio dérive which is licensed as creative commons. derive.at