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ALTERNATIVE HOUSING – ALTERNATIVE FUTURE
A Transatlantic Roundtable, Oct 8-10 - Berlin

Photo Credit: seven resist, Flickr

In the face of mounting gentrification and shortage of affordable housing, urban activists on both sides of the Atlantic are exploring alternative housing as a way of countering displacement and, more generally, the crisis of the cities. Alternative housing seeks to build the future in the present, by creating forms of shelter that are driven by democratic governance and the needs of ordinary people, instead of profit. For some, this has taken the form of community land trusts, for others housing cooperatives or squatting. And while some are focused on the defense of public housing, others are envisioning a just and sustainable city, with improved health care, food security, and more public spaces.

But what are some of the challenges in creating alternative housing? How do activists and academics engage local communities as well as local officials in municipalities? And what are the mechanisms in connecting a long term transformative vision of the “Right to the City” with the immediate demands of defending existing urban neighborhoods in the here and now?

These questions will lay the basis of “Alternative Housing, Alternative Future: A Transatlantic Roundtable.” Coming off the successes of our recent Right to the City roundtables that focused on gentrification and displacement, this year’s roundtable will bring together housing activists and scholars to share, debate, and envision strategies and best practices of alternative housing and building the commons.

The roundtable is hosted by the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung—New York Office and the Right to the City Alliance USA. Participants of this workshop will come from Detroit, New York City, and Jackson, Mississippi; from Montreal and Toronto, Canada. European activists will be from Athens, Valencia, Hamburg, Berlin, Porto, Leeds, and London.

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