Call for papers for Housing Commons and the Democratization of the Urban American Association of Geographers (AAG) – Boston, 5-9 April 2017

CFP: Housing Commons and the Democratization of the Urban

Organizers: Marc Parés & Mara Ferreri, Institute for Government and Public Policy, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Deadline for proposals: October 21, 2016.

In the context of the post-2008 global financial crisis, housing has once again become a key issue of contention and a focus of social movement organizing in cities across the world. Calls have been made for re-centering the role of housing within the wider analysis of capitalist political economy (Aalbers and Christophers 2014), at the same time as housing access is formulated again as a fundamental urban right.

From a growing critique of the impact of financialisation on housing and everyday life (García-Lamarca and Kaika 2016; Fields and Uffer 2016), forms of organising have developed to address both the rise of evictions and housing marginalisation, and to propose alternatives. The framework of commons and commoning has been proposed both to understand long-standing dynamics of urban enclosures (Sevilla-Buitrago 2015; Hodkinson 2012) and to examine proposals by movements, organisations and institutions to rethink housing provision, ownership and management.

This session seeks to explore, theoretically and empirically, different conceptualisations of ‘housing commons’ as well as socially innovative responses and institutional arrangements around access to housing. An expanded definition of ‘housing commons’ would include housing as a collectively shared material urban resource (cooperatives, Community Land Trusts and other tenures) but also as (immaterial) relations and collective practices that respond to emerging housing issues. We especially seek contributions on the question of housing in relation to new urban grassroots movements, ownership regimes, governance modes as well as new forms of co-production and participation in housing policy-making. Papers examining old and new demands and practices of housing commoning are also welcome.

Papers might explore, but not be limited to:

  • housing ‘crises’ in the context of urban commons
  • geographies of historic and new enclosures of housing commons
  • typologies and challenges of housing commons and commoning
  • housing-based social movements and their demands
  • socially innovative responses for guaranteeing housing access
  • institutional arrangements and legal tools for the governance of housing commons
  • innovation in planning and ownership regimes in relation to housing

If you are interested in participating in the session, please send a title, your affiliation and a short abstract of no more than 250 words to both Marc Parés ([email protected]) and Mara Ferreri ([email protected]) by 21 October 2016. Please follow AAG guidelines for preparing and submitting abstracts at:


[tp no_translate=”y”]Aalbers, Manuel B., and Brett Christophers. 2014. ‘The Housing Question under Capitalis Political Economies’. Housing, Theory and Society, no. 31: 422–28.

Fields, Desiree, and Sabina Uffer. 2016. ‘The Financialisation of Rental Housing: A Comparative Analysis of New York City and Berlin’. Urban Studies 53 (7): 1486–1502.

García-Lamarca, Melissa, and Maria Kaika. 2016. ‘“Mortgaged Lives”: The Biopolitics of Debt and Housing Financialisation’. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 41 (3): 313–27.

Hodkinson, Stuart. 2012. ‘The New Urban Enclosures’. City 16 (5): 500–518.

Sevilla-Buitrago, Alvaro. 2015. ‘Capitalist Formations of Enclosure: Space and the Extinction of the Commons’. Antipode 47 (4): 999–1020.[/tp]