Urban heritages: how history and housing finance matter to housing form and homeownership rates

Blackwell, Timothy and Kohl, Sebastian (2018) Urban heritages: how history and housing finance matter to housing form and homeownership rates. Urban Studies, 55 (16). pp. 3669-3688. ISSN 0042-0980

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Contemporary Western cities are not uniform but display a variety of different housing forms and tenures, both between and within countries. We distinguish three general city types in this paper: low rise, single-family dwelling cities where owner-occupation is the most prevalent tenure form; multi-dwelling building cities where tenants comprise the majority and; multi-dwelling building cities where owner occupation is the principal tenure form. We argue that historical developments beginning in the nineteenth century are crucial to understanding this diversity in urban form and tenure composition across Western cities. Our path-dependent argument is twofold. First, we claim that different housing finance institutions engendered different forms of urban development during the late-nineteenth century and had helped to establish the difference between single-family dwelling cities and multi-dwelling building cities by 1914. Second, rather than stemming from countries’ welfare systems or ‘variety of capitalism’, we argue that these historical distinctions have a significant and enduring impact on today’s urban housing forms and tenures. Our argument is supported by a unique collection of data of 1095 historical cities across 27 countries.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: built environmen;, finance/financialisation; history/heritage; housing; housing finance; urban history
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > International Relations
Research Centres and Groups: Centre for Global Political Economy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HC Economic history and conditions
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology > HM0701 Social systems
J Political Science
Depositing User: Timothy Blackwell
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2018 09:52
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 13:45
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/73737

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