Housing is a major part of the urban economy, occupying about 70 to 80% of the urban built environment. Housing is also a basic human need. Failure to provide adequate housing can have severe consequences for the society at large. Yet across the globe an alarming number of urban households are not able to access decent and affordable housing. Housing affordability has also become an acute concern even for those living in the advanced economies. In the United States, for example, over 40 million American households are identified as being cost-burdened since 2021 by spending more than 30% of their income on housing, a phenomenon the country has never experienced before.
This course provides an introduction to the urban housing system to examine how the housing system works and why it has failed to deliver adequate housing for a growing share of the urban population, with a particular focus on the contemporary challenges today’s housing system faces. By examining the structure and dynamics of the urban housing system, the course will also explore the possible solutions that can be developed to address those challenges. While the course will primarily focus on examining the dynamics of a market-based housing system, throughout the course we will also consider how the urban housing system has differed among countries of different political and economic systems.
Mon, Wed. 1:30-3:00pm 2222 A&AB