The Business of Densification. Distribution of Power, Wealth and Inequality in Swiss Policy Making

Debrunner, Gabriela; Hengstermann, Andreas; Gerber, Jean-David (2020). The Business of Densification. Distribution of Power, Wealth and Inequality in Swiss Policy Making. Town planning review, 91(3), pp. 259-281. Liverpool University Press 10.3828/tpr.2020.15

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In Switzerland, the fight against uncontrolled urban sprawl and the protection of agricultural land have a long tradition. To reconcile these concerns, the Swiss voting majority agreed to introduce densification as a legally binding policy objective in 2013. Simultaneously, however, densification processes have started to threaten the housing situation of low- and middle-income tenants due to higher rents following redevelopment. In this article, we argue that the Swiss way of implementing densification is characterised by a systematic bypassing of tenants’ needs for social sustainability in housing due to the current political priorities of the Swiss federal government. Using an institutionalist analysis approach and a qualitative case-study methodology, we analyse the institutional mechanisms and the actors’ rationale behind this emerging business of densification. Finally, we discuss the role of the nation state in the provision of the ‘right to housing’ for all income segments and its consequences for the country’s long-term sustainability performance.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Human Geography > Unit Political urbanism and sutainable spatial development
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Human Geography
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography

UniBE Contributor:

Debrunner, Gabriela; Hengstermann, Andreas Heinrich and Gerber, Jean-David

Subjects:

900 History > 910 Geography & travel
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science

ISSN:

1478-341X

Publisher:

Liverpool University Press

Language:

English

Submitter:

Gabriela Debrunner

Date Deposited:

07 Jul 2020 14:27

Last Modified:

27 Jul 2020 18:48

Publisher DOI:

10.3828/tpr.2020.15

Uncontrolled Keywords:

densification, densification policy, housing, social sustainability, social justice

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.145055

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/145055

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