Vacancy at the edges of the precarious city

Ferreri, Mara and Vasudevan, Alexander (2019) Vacancy at the edges of the precarious city. Geoforum, 101. pp. 165-173. ISSN 0016-7185

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In this paper, we examine the relationship between precarity, property and urban vacancy. Our main aim is to develop a conceptual framework that connects recent geographical scholarship on precarity to the production of vacant urban landscapes. The paper extends recent geographical scholarship on urban vacancy as a key site of antagonism for post-crisis forms of urbanisation. In so doing, it highlights the role of urban vacancy as a key feature in the making of the precarious city. Particular attention is paid to the rise of Property Guardianship and its relationship to the production and management of vacant urban land and property in the case of the ongoing financialisation of housing in London. Vacancy, in this context, is best understood as a spatial process that produces a varied geography of insecurity and disposability. This is, moreover, a geography that must be positioned within wider and longer trajectories in the urbanisation of injustice. The paper therefore combines a contemporary analysis of guardians living 'on the city's edge' with a historical look back at the 1970s and the little-known practice of 'short-life co-operative housing'. Taking a longitudinal view on the management of vacant buildings through temporary living arrangements across the last forty years enables us to examine old and new geographies of housing precarity and their relationship to the logics of large scale urban transformation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Co-operative housing, Housing question, London, Precarious city, Precarity, Property Guardianship, Vacancy
Subjects: K400 Planning (Urban, Rural and Regional)
L300 Sociology
L700 Human and Social Geography
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Geography and Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2019 16:14
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 15:47

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