Start date: 01/09/2018

Date of completion: 31/08/2021

HOPES: Perspectives and struggles around housing. Movements, policies and residential dynamics in and beyond Lisbon

At the beginning of the XXI, housing has returned to the center of struggles and political debate in the Western world. In Southern Europe, residential crises and intensification of gentrification and tourism have contributed to the emergence of social movements around housing issues such as social and economic exclusion and exclusion. Strongly affected by these trends, Lisbon is experiencing a perfect residential storm, generated by the intersection between economic crisis and austerity, and turistification, gentrification and recent massive real estate investment. At the same time, demographic changes (aging, migration and mobility) redefine local urban identities, reflecting new forms of residential activism.

Social movements, urban politics, and demographic studies seem to deal with housing in a piecemeal fashion. Focusing on Lisbon, paradigm of contradictory trends and still sub-theorized, HOPES aims to interweave these analytical domains. Building on the micro and meso dimension of residential activism, HOPES will expand its scope to macro aspects such as national housing policies and global trends. The main issues of HOPES are: how and to what extent do new housing movements mirror housing policies and broader dynamics? What are the reciprocal influences between movements, political agents and global trends? What are the possible residential and urban futures in Lisbon?

HOPES adopts an interdisciplinary perspective and a mixed methodology. Firstly, HOPES will analyze and cross-examine information on new residential activism (ethnography, analysis of protest events and frames analysis), policy (critical policy analysis) and dynamics (mapping and demographic analysis) of housing in Lisbon. The study will be enriched by an action research partnership with the Habita association and by cooperation with the FCT exPERts project on relocation policies in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area. Secondly, HOPES adopts a prospective approach to reflect on possible futures for Lisbon. Through qualitative analysis, secondary case studies will take place in two US cities: New York, a paradigm of economic growth, gentrification waves and organized movements around housing; and Memphis, a paradigm of prolonged austerity, the crisis of public housing and civic struggle. The secondary cases will form the basis of the production of qualitative scenarios competing for Lisbon; and will be compared, through a ‘generative’ approach, with the trends analyzed in Lisbon.

At the theoretical level, HOPES, through the integration of studies of social movements, urban policies and residential demography, will provide an innovative way of understanding housing. At the practical level, HOPES will contribute to institutional debate and action by understanding the future effects of housing policies.