In comparison with other European cities, Vienna is often referred to as a paradise on earth barely touched by the current housing crisis due to its strong social housing policy. However, in recent years Vienna’s housing market has undergone rapid changes. With a growing number of residents, Vienna is currently experiencing the threat of drastically increasing housing costs and a housing shortage. Productive challenges for an urgent presence and close future of housing are thus at stake!
Projects in Radical Housing
What makes a perfect society and how can we live together in harmony? These questions were already raised 500 years ago by Thomas More in his seminal work “Utopia” in which he denounces private property and describes the social order of his time as a “conspiracy of the rich”, a description which is strong and timeless.
To engage with the role of civil society and resistances to the housing system, the example of the Werkbundsiedlung provides a younger historical example to investigate the Viennese settler’s movement, which emerged out of the post WWI Vienna, where a mass of people claimed their right to housing at the outskirts of the city by means of a DIY approach.
However, various contemporary initiatives and organized movements against real estate speculation and displacement, protesting against rising rents have to be regarded as expressions against neoliberal urbanism. This field focuses on potentials and limits of contemporary co-housing projects such as Baugruppen or self-organised housing projects by the Mietshäuser Syndicate and the reading of Richard Sennett’s “Together” feeds into ongoing debates on “The Borders of Solidarity”.
Projects, publications and actions in this field deal with housing in one way or the other, thereby looking into a topic that is arguably one of today's most pressing urban issues.