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Research: SP4 Private Corporate Responses: Responsible Urban Investment and Production (UZH)

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How do investors and developers respond to housing controversies

In the past decade, the demand for ecologically sustainable development in the housing market have altered cities’ social geographies, and have given rise to a set of controversies concerning responsible investment in housing and related production schemes.

As the second-largest residential real estate owner in Switzerland (BAFU, 2015), Swiss-based pension funds and insurance companies are a key source of financing new residential development and renovation projects (Theurillat & Crevoisier, 2013). While they are called to comply with global sustainability goals through more density and the improvement of the housing stock toward greater energy efficiency, these processes have gone hand in hand with processes of exclusion that push lower-middle-income households to the edges of the housing market and the city through ever-rising rents, mass termination of rental contracts, the threat of displacement (Meuth & Reutlinger, 2021). This sub-project will address questions about what is valued to be a responsible investment and/or housing production, to whom such responsibilities are due, and how legal norms organise relations of responsibility.

SP4 Researcher Team

Who is participating: Hanna Hilbrandt, Doctoral Candidate (NN)