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Monopolistic Competition and Price Discrimination as a Development Company Strategy in the Primary Housing Market

Firms operating in the property sector use information asymmetry and the local monopoly to differentiate prices of housing units. Selling similar housing to purchasers at various prices allows them to maximize profits. The aim of this article is to analyze empirically the behavior of developers, that shape the market situation. It is necessary to depart from the classical analysis of enterprises that operate in a free and competitive market and produce typical, homogeneous goods. We analyze firms that produce heterogeneous goods and make individual trans-actions with each client. We use the hedonic regression to compare the theoretical and empirical prices per sq. m. of dwelling in the primary market in Warsaw and find significant dispersions. The price discrimination strategy, can be one of the explanations of the observed high, upward elasticity of prices.

31.12.2016 | Jacek Łaszek, Krzysztof Olszewski, Joanna Waszczuk | Volume: 3 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 1-12 | 10.13060/23362839.2016.3.2.286
Special issue on Nature-Home-Housing: Greening and Commoning of Urban Space

Nature-Home-Housing: Greening and Commoning of Urban Space


30.12.2016 | Petr Gibas | Volume: 3 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 13-16 | 10.13060/23362839.2016.3.2.293
Special issue on Nature-Home-Housing: Greening and Commoning of Urban Space

Participatory Design Processes for the Development of Green Areas of Large-scale Housing: Case Studies from Budapest and Riga

Large housing estates (LHE) found in CEE countries can be seen as a legacy of socialism. Their endurance in these countries is still evident: the future of LHEs is substantially linked to their physical and social characteristics formed during socialism and their decline in status in Hungary and Latvia. The Western European practice of urban rehabilitation and community initiatives has gained more and more ground (sometimes literally) as of late. Our paper examines this phenomenon by analysing examples of converted green space of LHEs in two former socialist cities - a neglected and underused former “traffic park” in Budapest and a typical LHE “courtyard” overgrown and unused in Riga. We focus on the conversational process and the participatory approach of inhabitants and analyse how the redesigning of green areas involving local communities can lead to inhabitants feeling more at home in this housing structure.

29.12.2016 | Adrienne Csizmady, Sandra Treija, Zsuzsanna Fáczányi, Péter István Balogh | Volume: 3 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 17-25 | 10.13060/23362839.2016.3.2.294
Special issue on Nature-Home-Housing: Greening and Commoning of Urban Space

Public Gardening and the Challenges of Neighbourhood Regeneration in Moscow

The popularity of public gardening in post-Soviet countries has arisen quite recently along with the penetration of neoliberal ideas. Public gardening not only visually improves the environment, but it also creates a range of public spaces and “other” places in which urban citizens can come together; eventually it could help to enhance the image of distressed neighbourhoods. Such community initiatives can be divided into sanctioned intervention and unauthorised intervention (“commoning”); unauthorised intervention is when residents are displeased with their surroundings and attempt to improve their environment in their own way. This paper explores the limitations of the practices of commoning as a source of regeneration and compares its cultural dimensions. In this paper I discuss the initial results of an ongoing research project focused on the expectations of people involved in these forms of participation. During this process, the differing typical understandings and perceptions of urban gardening in public and semi-public spaces will be applied.

28.12.2016 | Elena Ivanova | Volume: 3 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 26-32 | 10.13060/23362839.2016.3.2.295
Special issue on Nature-Home-Housing: Greening and Commoning of Urban Space

Community Gardening As a Means to Changing Urban Inhabitants and Their Space

Community gardening has become a new phenomenon in Slovakia. The evolution of community gardens has been enhanced thanks to the various motivations of the people involved: to grow and share fresh and healthy vegetables in unused urban spaces adjacent to their homes, to build a sense of community and strengthen social relations, to use and cultivate vacant urban space and to contribute to a more sustainable urban environment. This paper discusses the case of community gardening in the medium-sized city of Banská Bystrica in Slovakia. It analyses the growing popularity of community gardening as a result of the emergence of grassroots activism, a sign indicating the development of civil society. Using an ethnographic approach of participant observation and interviews, this paper also looks at community gardening as a non-political collective action addressing broader global issues.

27.12.2016 | Alexandra Bitusikova | Volume: 3 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 33-42 | 10.13060/23362839.2016.3.2.296
Special issue on Nature-Home-Housing: Greening and Commoning of Urban Space

Post-Soviet Housing: “Dacha” Settlements in the Tashkent Region

The post-Soviet period has been witness to a rather difficult process of establishing a new socio-economic and political system in Uzbekistan. The housing question was significantly resolved within the U.S.S.R., while currently the issue of housing has become exacerbated mainly due to the privatisation of the existing housing stock. However, as more young people now enter adulthood, the need for affordable housing once again comes to the forefront in Uzbekistan - namely in Tashkent, a place attracting the youth from all other regions. This research paper focuses on one of the housing solutions in the Tashkent Region: particularly the reconstruction of summer houses, or dachas, into permanent homes for year-round living. The findings are based on several observations from the field and expert interviews with local dacha residents during the summers of 2015 and 2016. The revival of a traditional lifestyle, combined with the modernisation and “Euro-style” of Uzbek houses, represents a case of “indigenous modernities”.

26.12.2016 | Hikoyat Salimova | Volume: 3 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 43-51 | 10.13060/23362839.2016.3.2.297
Special issue on Nature-Home-Housing: Greening and Commoning of Urban Space

“Green” Utopia of the Uralmash: Institutional Effects and Symbolic Meaning

The article examines ideological and institutional role of the “greening” policy in the Soviet urban planning practice of 1920-1930s. Relying on the example of the socialist city of Uralmash in Yekaterinburg (Sverdlovsk) the author traces how the idea of the “green city” affected the development of the urban settlement in terms of its functional mechanism and symbolic transformation. By analyzing the logic of the Uralmash “green” policy and its main narratives he argues that successful improvement of the post-Soviet green zones depends not so much on the new urban city-planning initiatives as on the new symbols and meanings that could give a clear vision of these spaces in the current social and cultural context.

25.12.2016 | Mikhail Ilchenko | Volume: 3 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 52-60 | 10.13060/23362839.2016.3.2.298
Special issue on Nature-Home-Housing: Greening and Commoning of Urban Space

Urban Green Space in Transition: Historical parks and Soviet heritage in Arkhangelsk, Russia

Urban green space was largely underestimated as a potential for healthy and liveable environments in the state socialist countries. In Soviet Russia, green in the city was part of urban planning but more as a proclamation and mostly implemented in a top-down-manner. During postsocialist transformation, economic restructuring dwarfed the debate on urban nature and greening. Within last years, we see a change here: Urban nature for residential quality and well-being has become more relevant for people, their perceptions and daily practices. The paper analyses the development and main characteristics of urban green spaces in Arkhangelsk, Russia. It discusses the importance of urban nature for human well-being, housing and its contribution to social cohesion and local identity. The paper argues that urban greening is not only a planning tool to create liveable and healthy urban environments but also an important strategy in awareness raising and public involvement activities.

24.12.2016 | Diana Dushkova, Dagmar Haase, Annegret Haase | Volume: 3 | Issue: 2 | Pages: 61-70 | 10.13060/23362839.2016.3.2.300

Reference Housing Costs for Adequate Dwellings in Ten European Capitals

Providing adequate housing at affordable prices remains a challenge for all welfare states. As part of a pilot project for developing a common methodology for reference budgets in the European Union, reference rents and other housing costs (energy, taxes, maintenance) corresponding to adequate dwellings for four hypothetical households living in nine capital regions of the EU were estimated. In this paper, we discuss the approach that we have taken. Quality criteria for adequate housing were derived from EU indicators of housing deprivation, and the recent UK Housing Standards Review. We used data from the Study of Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) of 2012. Unsurprisingly, the estimates of reference rents vary strongly across capitals, reflecting cross-national differences in the level of the average rent. By contrast, other housing costs, which mainly reflect energy costs, vary much less.

29.6.2016 | Karel Van den Bosch, Tim Goedemé, Nathalie Schuerman, Bérénice Storms | Volume: 3 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 1-9 | 10.13060/23362839.2016.2.1.248

Housing as Asset Based Welfare: A Comment

This paper aims to provide a contribution to the debate about housing as asset based welfare begun in this journal in 2015. It suggests that there are strong reasons associated with life cycle earnings and consumption why owner-occupation can be a desirable option, especially for older households. However owner-occupation can be a high risk option for less well-off households while increasing both inequality across income groups and particularly through its impact on inter-generational income and wealth. Even so, housing inequalities, despite all the market failures associated with its provision and allocation, are more an outcome of broader economic fundamentals. Moreover housing policies can improve the lived experience for many. Policies should aim to provide a tenure neutral-taxation environment but also to reduce credit and other constraints to entering owner-occupation. At the same time there must be support for those with inadequate income to achieve acceptable housing standards.

28.6.2016 | Christine Whitehead | Volume: 3 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 10-18 | 10.13060/23362839.2016.3.1.249

The Use of Esping-Andersen and Kemeny’s Welfare and Housing Regimes in Housing Research

This article provides a critique of the use of Esping-Andersen and Kemeny’s typologies of welfare and housing regimes, both of which are often used as starting points for country selections in comparative housing research. We find that it is conceivable that housing systems may reflect the wider welfare system or diverge from it, so it is not possible to “read across” a housing system from Esping-Andersen’s welfare regimes. Moreover, both are dated and require revisiting to establish whether they still reflect reality. Of the two frameworks, Esping-Andersen’s use of the state-market-family triangle is more geographically mobile. Ultimately, housing systems are likely to be judged on the “housing outcomes” that they produce. However, it is suggested that current use of variables within EU-SILC in order to establish “housing outcomes” may be misleading since they do not reflect acceptable standards between countries with greatly differing general living standards and cultural norms.

27.6.2016 | Mark Stephens | Volume: 3 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 19-29 | 10.13060/23362839.2016.3.1.250

The Apartment with the Best Floor Plan Layout: Architects versus Non-architects

This study examined differences in the floor-plan preferences of architects and laypersons with no architectural education or experience (non-architects). Qualitative data on floor-plan preferences were collected using interviews and an online survey. The floor plans used in the online survey were differentiated primarily by spatial arrangements and included the original layout of a socialist prefab apartment and two contemporary redesigns of the space. The results showed significant differences in the floor-plan preferences of architects and non-architects. Topological properties of layout and a required level of privacy were identified as key factors influencing the between-group differences. Architects and non-architects disagreed in particular over how the public and private zones were defined and arranged in the apartment layouts. From the perspective of architectural practice, understanding non-architects’ preferences can decrease the uncertainty in new product development for an unknown end user and increase residential satisfaction.

26.6.2016 | Irena Boumová, Jana Zdráhalová | Volume: 3 | Issue: 1 | Pages: 30-41 | 10.13060/23362839.2016.3.1.264
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