Session details


Oscar Gelderblom (University of Antwerp)


This session explores the various ways in which private entrepreneurs, local and central governments have tried to design residential housing areas to increase individual well-being and social cohesion, while at the same time pursuing economic interests. Building on a variety of local case studies we will explore the short-term and long-term consequences of these efforts on social inequality.


From Kitchen to Collectivity: The Contribution of Shared Spaces within Viennese habiTAT Projects to just Communities and Inclusive Cities


Elisabeth Weiler (TU Wien) and Angelika Psenner (TU Wien)


Co-housing, Caring Infrastructures, Materialist Feminism


Urban realities traditionally reflect and manifest hegemonial structures of power based on race, gender, class and the recent pandemic has further highlighted and exacerbated those inequalities. For a considerable time, Materialist-feminist planners, designers, urbanists and activists aim to overcome urban inequalities on many levels by reshaping cities, housing and everyday life conditions. 

Since everyday life takes place in both private and public areas, overcoming urban inequalities requires overcoming the dichotomy of public and domestic life, and thus of housing and urban landscape, and seeing it as a possible area of change. In order to make modern cities more equitable for women and marginalized groups, domestic life should become more public, while the urban public realm should provide a sense of "home".

One of the strategies to achieve this is the collectivization of reproductive labor, more specifically the work of providing food (e.g. community kitchens, urban gardening). In "The Grand Domestic Revolution" Dolores Hayden shows examples where special infrastructures support the collectivization and visibility of privatized reproductive labor. Some of these concepts can be applied to today's community kitchens and other communal spaces that seek new forms of solidarity. In many cases, these spaces are not only shared by the residents, but are also open to neighbors and visitors and could therefore be important interfaces between the home and the urban environment, i.e. between domestic and public life. 

Our contribution discusses the first results of our study which investigates common spaces in two housing projects of the Austrian habiTAT (similar to the German Mietshäuser Syndikat) in Vienna with regard to their potential as infrastructures for "care, community and collectivity". Using a broad mix of methods from social science and architectural approaches, these structures are investigated by means of floor plan and spatial structure-analyses, collective walk-alongs, guided interviews and participant observation, and thereby placed in the concrete urban context. The research question we try to answer is their possible contribution to a materialist, feminist perspective of just communities and inclusive cities.

Social Housing Patrimonialization, the Case of the Gratte-Ciel District in Villeurbanne


Aliénor (Wagner-Coubès Université Gustave Eiffel, laboratoire analyse comparée des pouvoirs EA3350)


Social Housing, Patrimonialization, Urban Renewal Policy


This paper will study the city center of Villeurbanne, a town in the Lyons’ agglomeration that became industrialized at the end of the 19th century.

Lazare Goujon, a socialist mayor, was elected in 1924. His political priority was the development of the town, and he decided to build a new civic center named “les Gratte-Ciel” “the skyscrapers”. This project allowed him to provide concrete answers to the social and sanitary problems that the town and its population were going through during his mandate. It was also a way of asserting the city and of going beyond the designation of "suburban city".

A monumental district was built, composed of public facilities, 1500 housing units and shops. This program embodied the hygienic principles. Its modernist architecture used the construction principles and forms of the American skyscrapers. This urban project was an event at its inauguration.

My communication will explore the ways of managing this neighbourhood, notably through its enhancement, for which I will use the term “patrimonialization”.

This research involves the study of urban renovations of large popular housing complexes. We observe that these processes differ according to the political affiliation of the local authorities involved. The perception of these housing complexes and their population also influences urban renewal policies. Indeed, one of the usual solutions provided by urban renewal processes is “destruction-reconstruction”. This process occurred in Villeurbanne with a large complex built at the end of the 1950s and destroyed in 1978.

In this paper I will discuss different examples of management of a popular housing complex between heritage and destruction. I will highlight what were the elements that led to these radically opposed choices and what was the place of the inhabitants’ experience in these processes.

In Villeurbanne, the heritage importance of “les Gratte-Ciel” was reactivated in the 1990s. This was the time of the rehabilitation of the housing, their labelling as low-cost housing, and the classification of “les Gratte-Ciel” as a zone for the protection of architectural, urban and landscape heritage. This neighborhood entered at the same moment into the processes of renovation, heritage and social assistance.

In this sense, this district is an example of the heritage of a large social housing complex whose historical trajectory differed from the types of destruction-reconstruction projects often implemented. The paper will underscore the reasons for this valorization of “les Gratte-Ciel” as a symbol of a socialist urban model.

The Spatial Reflection of the Treaty of Lausanne in Chania Crete and the Contribution of Exchangeable Property to its Urban and Social Transformation


Aikaterini Karadima (Technical University of Grete)


Treaty of Lausanne, Spatial Tranformations, Population Exchange


The continuous wave of refugees to and from Greece caused by the Balkan Wars and the Asia Minor catastrophe has had a big impact on culture and society in both Greece and Turkey, and its imprint is still visible in the urban space of Chania, Crete. The exchange of Orthodox Christian and Muslim populations between Greece and Turkey in the aftermath of the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923, and the subsequent exchange of property is at the heart of the city’s development. Properties in both lands were considered exchangeable, and their management was regulated by a variety of legislative interventions for the resettlement of refugees. This was the starting point of the rapid urbanization and the uncontrolled urban expansion, which since then shaped the Greek urban and social structure. Socio-geographical inequalities in the urban space were evident focusing on the discrimination between local population and the refugees - allover Greece, resulting in phenomena of as racist attacks and arsons of refugee settlements, especially in northern Greece .

Chania is one of the 28 prefectures of Greece, where exchangeable properties are found, as there was a significant Muslim community on the island until 1924. The arrival of Greek orthodox Christian refugees and their relocation to Chania led to the expansion of the city to the south and west, where Muslim properties were located. The violent population exchange between Greece and Turkey, the intense urbanization, and in particular the refugee rehabilitation, became immediately apparent in Chania.

The end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century is a period of rapid transformations in society and space worldwide affecting Greece and the city of Chania consequently. The settlement of refugees that arrived in Greece emerged as one of the most crucial political and social issues in Greece, resulting even in significant spatial transformations which constitute the subject of the paper focusing on the urban and suburban area of Chania. The aim is to investigate the spatial reflection of the treaty of Lausanne in the wider region of Chania and the contribution of exchangeable properties to its urban and social evolution.