The Working Paper Series (WPS) allows for timely and wide dissemination of research findings and provides our researchers with the possibility to get early feedback on their work.
Papers published in the series are pre-publications, published electronically by the Centre for Urban Studies and available online-only via this website. Upon publication, the downloadable CUS WPS version will be removed from our website, and the download link is replaced by a direct link to the publisher's website.
Announcements of new working papers are circulated in our newsletter.
In this working paper, Meredith Glaser and Kevin J. Krizek inventory and assess street-level COVID-response measures from 55 US cities to explore characteristics of “street experiments” that might enable a transition to an alternative mobility future.
In context of increasing housing market pressures and an international swell in the formation of non-family households, especially among younger-adults, this paper examines share house (shea-hausu), an increasingly popular form of private rental housing in Tokyo.
Urban areas around the world are currently seeing a surge in tourists on the hunt for “real urban experiences”: off-the-beaten-track, everyday and mundane urban life, seen as representing something “real” and “authentic” – with New York City, and in particular Brooklyn, providing the most emblematic example of these trends. This taste for urban authenticity has linked up with the simultaneous rise of urban digital platforms, as short-term rental platforms like Airbnb effectively cater to this form of tourism by providing access to residential homes in areas outside of urban centers, adding a sense of being integrated in the everyday urban fabric.
Airbnb has recently become a growing topic of both concern and interest for urban researchers, policymakers, and activists. Previous research has emphasized Airbnb’s economic impact and as a driver of residential gentrification, but Airbnb also fosters place entrepreneurs, geared to extract value from a global symbolic economy by marketing the urban frontier to a transnational middle-class.
Echo chambers and filter bubbles are becoming part of a new master narrative about social media. Commentators and scholars worry that, since social media enable assortative social ties among those who share a common identity, they fortify identity-based divisions and drive polarization.
In Western Europe, a select number of “ghettos” are at the forefront of public anxieties about urban inequality and failed integration. These notorious neighborhoods at the bottom of the moral spatial order, are imagined as different and disconnected from the rest of the city. This paper examines how residents in Amsterdam Bijlmer, a peripheral social housing estate that has long been portrayed as the Dutch ghetto, experience the symbolic denigration of their neighborhood.
Recent urban studies show increasing interest in the segregation and changing geography of poor households across European and North American cities. However, these studies tend to rely on relatively crude categorizations of poor populations, despite potentially important variation within groups. This paper therefore seeks to deepen our understanding of the segregation by focusing on different types of low-income households, and their (changing) geography.
Housing is central in the reproduction of social inequalities. Beyond divides across populations, trends point to intensifying polarization in housing-market dynamics across space. Nonetheless, little systematic evidence exists on the spatial inequality of housing values. In this paper, Cody Hochstenbach and Rowan Arundel address this through a detailed investigation of house-value developments in the Netherlands over time and space.
Through an ethnographic study of a document in urban Brazil - the electricity bill - this working paper by Francesca Pilo' argues for developing a relational and materialist approach to citizenship.
This working paper by Cody Hochstenbach and Richard Ronald explores how and why the state-orchestrated revival of the private rental sector in Amsterdam has come about, highlighting how new growth in free market private renting is related to the restructuring of the urban housing market around owner-occupation since the 1990s. More critically, the analysis asserts that the restructuring of Amsterdam’s housing stock can be conceptualized as regulated marketization.
This Working Paper explores the material politics of the “responsive city.” This politics imbues urban objects that are made “smart” with responsive sensors, with the capacity to negotiate the multitude of interests that make up contemporary urban life in a frictionless way.
This paper answers the question how where one buys housing has gained crucial importance in structuring future housing-wealth accumulation with highly uneven access to high-gain areas.
This paper investigates key transitions in household formation and dissolution in the Amsterdam region before, during and after the housing crisis of 2008. In contrast to expectations, mobility-related life-course transitions have not been affected by the crisis. Mobility rates among ‘stable’ households do show a decline though. However, changes appear between rental and ownership markets, as well as changes in the geography of life-course transitions.
This paper challenges the idea that there is currently a geographical, political dichotomy between cities and the periphery: the city is supposed to represent the tolerant vote while the periphery is portrayed as more prone to populism and xenophobia.
Age is not very often explicitly integrated into analyses of urban socio-spatial inequality. This working paper by Cody Hochstenbach makes an effort to do so, and shows how this helps us understand how gentrification progresses over time, takes on new forms and expands into areas previously left untouched.
How do political powers mobilize aesthetic means to simultaneously produce a sense of security and a sense of community? Drawing on research in Kingston, Jamaica, this paper by Rivke Jaffe connects philosophical work on the politics of aesthetics to considerations of spatiality and materiality, in order to develop a political geography of sensation.
Rather than seeing class dynamics as subservient to capital, the authors contend that class relations may feed into state dynamics in two related ways: representative politics and State hegemonies. Taking Jason Hackworth and Neil Smith’s seminal paper on the ‘changing state of gentrification’ as a starting point, this paper argues to reconceptualise state-led gentrification to advance our understanding of urban transformation.
Transitions to more sustainable and just mobilities require moving beyond technocentrism and rethinking the very meaning of mobility in cities and societies. This working paper by CUS member Anna Nikolaeva and colleagues demonstrates that such rethinking is inherently political and requires engagement with wider debates on the politics of transitions.
Cosmopolitanism is commonly understood as a phenomenon exclusive to the city, while the suburbs are primarily identified with provincialism. In this paper, based on research in Almere, this dichotomy is problematized and the existence of cosmopolitanism in suburbia is discussed.
This paper uses the cargo bike as a lens to discuss the transformations of urban space from the perspective of class and gender. It argues that, while continuing to acknowledge the importance of class, gender is an equally important yet neglected dimension of the production of urban space and that it is particularly relevant to study how class and gender intersect.
In this brief article, we challenge the myth of Northern formality by focusing on two empirical cases of informality in Dutch governance that demonstrate how the state frames the toleration and use of informality as policy innovations.
It has become increasingly commonplace to note that the past decade has witnessed a proliferation of anthropological studies dealing holistically with the dynamics of cities and city-living, to the extent that the current moment is considered to represent something of an epistemological ‘flourishing’ within anthropology, particularly in relation to the benchmark of the discipline’s historical urban mainstay, the neighbourhood ethnography. Studies explicitly offering a window onto the broader nature of urban contexts are not necessarily new, however, and indeed, were arguably the basis upon which urban anthropology originally emerged as an identifiable sub-discipline before subsequently taking a more particularistic turn.
Governments in a wide range of contexts have long pursued policies of social mixing to disperse poverty concentrations, attract middle-class residents and manage disadvantaged neighborhoods. Drawing on the case of Amsterdam this chapter shows that the dominant instruments to facilitate social mixing have changed over time. The policy focus has shifted from large-scale urban renewal projects and the demolition of social-rental housing to the sale of existing social-rental dwellings. The changing nature of tenure restructuring is also expressed through a changing geography: while urban renewal concentrated in post-war neighborhoods where market processes spur downgrading, social-housing sales increasingly concentrate in inner-city neighborhoods where market processes are facilitated to spur gentrification.
The Netherlands had been considered a key example of a ‘unitary’ rental market in which social and private rental sectors are in direct competition with each other. This unitary market has been more recently undermined however, by changes in the status of housing associations, the privatization of social housing stock and the promotion of home ownership.
The post socialist restructuring of Romania was marked by an abrupt retrenchment of the state and, subsequently, the resurgence of familial interdependencies. A particular arena where this has played out has been the housing system. State rental housing privatization in the 1990s led to mass homeownership, but for young adults seeking autonomous living since then, entering the homeownership market has become increasingly dependent on family resources.
Major post-industrial cities across Europe and other contexts are marked by growing social-spatial inequalities, with housing liberalization and gentrification limiting low-income households’ housing options. We investigate changes in the residential moves of different low-income households (working poor, low-to-middle incomes, and unemployed). These moves represent the nexus where issues of displacement, exclusion and housing affordability come to the fore.
A set of process-related barriers negatively determines the effectiveness of EIA in transport planning. Recent research highlights in particular the unstructured stakeholder involvement and inefficient public participation during the scoping phase of EIA as key bottlenecks. While the academic literature has produced several promising theories for addressing these barriers, they have rarely been translated into solutions applicable and testable in practice.