Housing governance beyond city boundaries

Université Grenoble Alpes, Pacte - Laboratoire de sciences sociales, Grenoble, France

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Dr. Paulette Duarte


Dr. Adriana Diaconu, Université Grenoble Alpes, Pacte - Laboratoire de sciences sociales, Grenoble, France

Dr. Joris Hoekstra, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands


Comparative Housing Research Expertise Centre, TUD, Delft, Netherlands

Lisbon City Council, Portugal

Cyprus Land Development Corporation, Cyprus

Research project

Housing markets are spatially differentiated. The differences between urban, suburban or rural areas of the same region in terms of housing affordability and social inequalities pose a challenge for housing policies and planning strategies. Differences in housing markets, availability of land, degrees of concentration of public housing, presence of amenities, bring about residential mobility, daily commuting or segregation phenomena. Local policy-makers and housing providers differentiate their strategies of developing or reducing the stock of social, affordable or market price housing according to the dynamics of different areas.

The purpose of this research is to develop a comparative study of how local housing and planning policies deal with spatial differences regarding housing. The work will include an analysis of the methodologies and tools used by housing agencies, planning authorities or other housing stakeholders for measuring territorial differences in order to define their strategies. The research should also address the negotiation process between different stakeholders involved in managing, retrofitting or building affordable housing in city regions. A comparison of the housing impact of national, regional and local governance and planning systems will be conducted, thereby paying attention to the coordination role of supra municipal planning authorities in different European contexts.

Territorial differences can also provide opportunities for introducing regulatory measures and experimenting with innovative endeavours aiming to promote sustainable and affordable housing solutions: long-term community control over land, use of private housing for social purposes, reuse of vacant housing, among other. Innovative local solutions and partnerships for providing affordable and sustainable housing in different European contexts will be analysed and compared in this research project.

->To conduct individual research project, interlinked to the other ESRs projects, focusing on:
  • Developing and applying a methodology for comparative research on housing governance and planning in different European urban areas affected by housing shortage and unaffordability
  • Identifying case studies of best practices, of innovations or experimental actions involving private and public stakeholders, flexible, temporary or alternative models of ownership and occupation, in-between the private, public and/or the third sector etc
  • Studying the stakeholder systems, the different forms of association, collaboration or conflicts and the negotiation and decision processes between stakeholders in selected European urban areas.
->To participate in the network-wide activities (workshops, summer schools, conferences)
->To carry out the training required by the PhD programme of the host university.

As part of the individual research project, ESRs will carry out two secondments, each of 2 to 3 months, in partner organisations.

ESRs are expected to have completed a doctoral thesis that can be defended at the host institution within or shortly thereafter the project lifetime.

Host university

Pacte is a social sciences research centre affiliated to the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), Grenoble Alpes University (UGA) and the Grenoble Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po Grenoble). Pacte brings together the majority of Grenoble’s researchers in geography, urban planning and territorial development, political science and sociology. It also hosts economists, historians, and specialists in information and communication sciences. Interdisciplinary research is central to its practice, through sharing and confronting methods, epistemologies and common fieldwork. The centre is organized in five research teams: Cities and Territories, Environments, Governance, Regulations and Social Justice. The recruited researcher will join the teams Cities and Territories and Social Justice and participate in the different scientific activities of Pacte. The two research teams are mainly located on the premises of the Institute of planning and urban geography.

Among the different research areas, the researchers of Pacte are involved in comparative research programmes addressing metropolitan transformations and strategies and local housing policies in French urban areas, such as POPSU Métropoles, Housing policies and the metropolis (PUCA), and Selling social housing in France (PUCA)


Assoc. Prof. Adriana Diaconu (

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