Urba03
The vulnerable middle class? Strategies of housing in a prospering city

Convenors:
Simone Egger (Klagenfurt University )
Johannes Moser (LMU Munich)
Stream:
Urban
Location:
VG 4.103
Start time:
28 March, 2017 at 8:30
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

Today economically successful cities have to deal with growing populations and their consequences. Our interest focuses on the reactions of the middle class that has to struggle with increasing rates for urban dwelling.

Long abstract:

The proposed panel has its starting point with a DFG research group on "urban ethics" where one project for instance deals with the housing problem in Munich. Today economically successful cities of all sizes are more and more crowded. Their prosperity forces them to deal with several challenges: people need infrastructure and space, first of all for housing. At the same time urban properties have become a field of contest and speculation. In flourishing cities all over the world increasing prices for rents are not only a problem of the poor but also of the middle class. Its members are still privileged, while getting vulnerable simultaneously, as sociologist Heinz Bude states. Spite of all municipal efforts, living in the city and being part of its society has come down to be a question of economic capital. Our interest focuses on the reactions of the middle class concerning these developments. We have been observing a rise of ethical debates in this field as well as aspects of shame and (in)visibility when people try to handle the situation. The proposed panel asks for ways of activism or collaboration, civil engagement, strategies and tactics (de Certeau). We search for examples analysing transformations and its effects on the middle class in prospering cities. As theoretical framing we are interested in aspects of governance, moral economy or social creativity.