Urban Renewal Policy: Balancing between Housing Affordability and Urban Sustainability

Vysokovsky Graduate School of Urbanism HSE


About the Event

On 10 October 2018 an International Scientific and Practical Conference ‘Urban Renewal Policy: Balancing between Housing Affordability and Urban Sustainability’ held by the Graduate School of Urbanism of the HSE Faculty of Urban and Regional Development will take place at the Higher School of Economics. Passing through rapid economic and spatial growth cities are facing similar problems such as ineffective land use, transportation system overload, out-of-date housing stock, and communal infrastructure. Due to the scale of these challenges, they must be addressed not only on the local but also on the national level. Three sessions of the Conference cover these issues in urban planning, economy, and social sphere. Together with experts and practitioners from Russia and EU, we will discuss urban redevelopment, housing stock renovation, housing affordability and various formats of ownership. The conference will start with open talk on national housing policy in Russia and European countries with Prof. Alexander Puzanov, HSE University, director of the Institute for Urban Economics, ENHR member, and Prof. Michael Oxley, Emeritus Senior Fellow, Department of Land Economy of the University of Cambridge, ex-director of Cambridge Centre for Housing & Planning Research. 10:15-11:45 Open Talk. National housing policy. Effective housing policy is always a choice between multiple options which are particularly connected with urban planning policies and urban regulations. Excessive housing construction or massive redevelopment is often the result of the policy. What are the key features of national housing policies in Russia and in Europe? What challenges do the countries face and what strategies do they use to cope with them? How does urban renewal policy affect housing affordability and urban sustainability? Key speakers: Prof. Michael Oxley, Prof. Alexander Puzanov 12:00-13:30 Session 1. Smart Renovation Urban policy either boosts extensive growth at the city outskirts, or provides opportunities for intensive redevelopment under the goal to enhance the quality of urban environment. What is the potential of urban development and spatial planning policies to work with urbanized areas? Is there a need for a unified city development corporation? How to work with built-up areas, and what are the economic effects of housing renovation projects? 14:45-16:15 Session 2. Affordable Housing: New Formats Affordable housing in Russia is usually defined by the price of ownership, whereas in EU it depends on renting price. Housing for rent could be private or public, financed by the government for the citizens who are not able to pay the full market price. Happening nowadays renovation campaign in Russia does not offer any alternatives to the owner due to non-institutionalized renting sector. Why does the form of tenure dictates housing affordability as much as its price? Should the government promote alternatives to the forms of ownership? What are the economic premises and implications of such transformations for municipalities, developers and citizens? 16:30-18:00 Session 3. Social effects of housing policy As Prof. Christine Lelévrier claims after analyzing french social mix policies which were aimed at creating minimum 20% of social housing in each municipality, “Diversity of forms of use and ownership of housing does not lead to social interaction”. In Russia due to the period of free privatization there could be different formats of ownership even in one condominium, but this also does not always affect any communication between neighbors. It becomes clear that the variety of forms of ownership predetermine different living strategies. Is the interaction between citizens possible nowadays? Is this cooperation profitable for the community, and how do people influence the urban development? The Conference is held by the Graduate School of Urbanism of the HSE Faculty of Urban and Regional Development with the support of Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.

Who's Coming

The conference will bring together international experts from practice, government and academia who will discuss urban redevelopment, housing stock renovation, housing affordability and various formats of ownership as well as the various challenges cities face in Russia and in Europe.

About Us

Vysokovsky Graduate School of Urbanism is an independent learning and research division of the National Research University Higher School of Economics. Founded in 2011, the School takes a multidisciplinary approach towards studying and planning modern cities, using the excellent foundation that one of Russia’s top universities has formed in the humanities and socioeconomics.