Cities engaging on the right to housing

Location: Despachantes, Alfandega
Date: Fri, January 31
Time: 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Joint Session Urban Innovative Actions/URBACT

In many cities throughout Europe, house prices and rents are increasing whilst living standards continue to stagnate. According to Eurostat, 82 million people in Europe are spending more than 40 % of their income on rent. And yet, globally, the real estate sector builds more wealth than any other sector, representing more than 3.5 times the total global GDP (with “residential” real estate accounting for more than two-thirds.)

Today, more European cities and social movements are calling governments at all levels to take responsibility for reaffirming housing as a right and not as a commodity. They are also showing the way by trying out concrete actions to implement the right to housing.

This workshop is the first of a series exploring the role of cities in working to implement this fundamental right. Building on the experience of UIA and URBACT cities, the EU urban agenda partnerships, practitioners and activists, it will explore collective, cooperative, social and municipal-led initiatives, as well as strategies preventing speculation on land and housing  in European cities.

This session will introduce the main questions that that will be explored by the UIA/URBACT joint activity in the upcoming months and showcase some inspiring examples.

Moderation: Laura Colini, UIA & URBACT expert

9.00 – 9.10

Welcome and introduction – introducing housing UIA-URBACT capitalisation activity on housing

Nuala Morgan, URBACT

Raffaele Barbato, UIA

9.10 – 9.20

Municipal strategies for housing : Q&A session with the EU UA Affordable housing partnership

Laura Colini, UIA & URBACT expert

Merja Haapakka, European Commission - DG REGIO

Michaela Kauer, City of Vienna

9.20 – 9.25

Introduction of the corners

The discussions aim at contributing to the identification of key questions and points for each of the sub-topics of the capitalisation activity.

Laura Colini, UIA & URBACT expert

9.25 – 10.25


City case: City of Brussels, UIA CALICO project

Brussels Capital Region


Moderation/Note taker: UIA officer


City cases: City of Athens, UIA Curing the limbo project and City of Ghent, URBACT ROOF network

City of Athens,

City of Ghent,

Housing Europe

Moderation/ Note taking: URBACT/UIA officer


City cases: City of Barcelona, URBACT good practice

City of Barcelona,


Moderation/Note taking: URBACT officer

10.25 – 10.30

Next steps and conclusion

Laura Colini, UIA & URBACT expert

Parallel Workshop

Despachantes Hall