In the wake of the Great Recession, housing and its financing suddenly re-emerged as questions of significant public concern. Yet both public and academic debates about housing have remained constricted, tending not to explore how the evolution of housing simultaneously entails basic forms of socio-spatial reproduction and underlying tensions in the political order. Drawing on cutting edge perspectives from urban studies, this book grants renewed, interdisciplinary energy to the housing question. It explores how housing raises a series of vexing issues surrounding rights, identity, and justice in the modern city. Through finely detailed studies that illuminate national and regional particularities- ranging from analyses of urban planning in the Soviet Union, the post-Katrina reconstruction of New Orleans, to squatting in contemporary Lima - the volume underscores how housing questions matter in a wide range of contexts. It draws attention to ruptures and continuities between high modernist and neoliberal forms of urbanism, demonstrating how housing and the dilemmas surrounding it are central to governance and the production of space in a rapidly urbanizing world.
’This insightful volume places housing at the center of our understanding (examination, exploration) of the urban. By locating the housing question at the nexus of politics, governance and space, Murphy and Hourani realign core urban studies and decenter what is often a U.S. and European based focus. While not neglecting embodied concepts of home, this volume integrates the global and local by drawing upon a range of disciplines and cities in the Global South and Eastern Europe. Ultimately Murphy and Hourani, advocate an approach that is both scholarly and activist, a critical and unique combination for addressing questions of housing inequality today.’ Setha M. Low, The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, USA