Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Stadt- und Regionalsoziologie

Prof. Raquel Rolnik at the Think & Drink Colloquium

Prof. Raquel Rolnik, Universidade de São Paulo, Brasilien Urban warfare: the colonization of housing and urban land by finance, Think and Drink, Monday 23.05.2016, Urban Sociology
  • Wann 23.05.2016 von 18:00 bis 20:00
  • Wo Raum 002: Universitätsstr. 3b, 10117 Berlin
  • iCal

Prof. Raquel Rolnik, Universidade de São Paulo, Brasilien

Urban warfare: the colonization of housing and urban land by finance

Photo Credits: Martin Hunter

Real estate in general and housing in particular have been one of the most powerful new frontiers of financial capital expansion during the last decades. The belief that markets could regulate the allocation of urban land and housing as the most rational means of resource distribution, combined with experiments with ‘creative’ financial products related to it, has resulted in public policies that have abandoned the conceptual meaning of housing as a social good and of the city as a public artifact. Housing and urban policies have shifted from being part of the commonalities a society agrees to share or to provide to those with fewer resources, a means to distribute wealth, into a means to accumulate individual wealth and to generate financial gains. This process implied in massive dispossession of territories and the creation of “place-less” urban poor as well as increased levels of segregation in the cities.Taking the 1990s as a starting point, and the current financial crisis as its first great international collapse, the lecture will offer a global panorama of the paradigm shift towards the colonization of urban land and housing by global finance. The first part will describe the financialization of housing in different national contexts, trying to point out the different versions of the policies adopted. The second part will focus the mechanisms by which the tenure forms of the urban majorities become more insecure, opening ground to the hegemony of individual freehold as the one and only model. Both parts take examples from the cities in the global North as well as in the global South.

Mitteilungen des Instituts




Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Kultur-, Sozial- und Bildungswissenschaftliche Fakultät
Institut für Sozialwissenschaften
Unter den Linden 6
10099 Berlin



Institut für Sozialwissenschaften
Universitätsstraße 3b
10117 Berlin