HOPES - HOusing PErspectives and Struggles. Futures of housing movements, policies and dynamics in Lisbon and beyond

In the early 21st century, housing has returned to the centre of struggles and political debate in the Western world. In Southern Europe, housing crises, and intensifying dynamics of gentrification and touristification, have contributed to the emergence of new housing social movements around issues such as displacement, and social and economic exclusion. Strongly affected by these trends, Lisbon is in the midst of a perfect storm for housing, generated by the intersection of the long wave of economic crisis and austerity with recent touristification, gentrification and massive real estate investment. At the same time, demographic changes (e.g. ageing, migrations and mobility) are reshaping local urban identities, which are reflected in new forms of housing activism. Social movement, urban policy and demographic studies seem to have dealt with housing in a compartmentalised way. By focusing on the city of Lisbon, a casen paradigmatic of contradictory trends but still under-theorised, HOPES aims to intertwine these analytical fields. Moving from the micro and meso dimensions of housing activism, HOPES will enlarge its scope to macro aspects such as national housing policies and global trends. HOPES' main questions are: how, and to what extent, do new housing movements mirror wider housing policies and dynamics? Which are the reciprocal influences between movements, political actors and globalising trends? What are the possible scenarios and futures in terms of housing and urban trends? HOPES adopts an interdisciplinary perspective and a mixed methodology. First, HOPES will analyse and cross information on new housing activism (ethnography, protest events and frames analysis), policy (critical policy analysis) and dynamics (mapping and demographic analysis) in housing in Lisbon. This study will be enriched by an action research partnership with the housing association Habita, and by cooperation with the FCT funded project exPERts on rehousing policies in Lisbon metro. Second, HOPES adopts a foresight approach to reflect on possible futures for Lisbon. Through qualitative analysis, secondary case studies - whose selection is justified in a framework of a 'generative' approach to urban comparison - will be developed in two US cities: New York City, paradigmatic of economic growth, successive waves of gentrification and organised housing movements; and Memphis, paradigmatic of long-term austerity, public housing crisis and civic struggle. The secondary cases will be used to build scenarios of competing futures for Lisbon; and compared with the trends analysed in the city. Theory-wise, HOPES will enrich and integrate different conceptual fields - social movement, urban policy and demographic studies - and provide an innovative way to look at housing. Practice-wise, HOPES will contribute to grassroots and institutional debate and action through the understanding of the way housing policies can shift toward (un)desirable futures.

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External Partners
CIES-Iscte - Centre for Research and Studies in Sociology
Instituto de Ciências Sociais da Universidade de Lisboa (ICS/UL)
Data from Ciência-IUL