UN-HABITAT, Nairobi & Institute of Urban Development, Kraków
Metropolitan Research Institute prepared the study for the “Western Subregion” of Central and Eastern European transition countries: the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) the Visegrad Four countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia), and Slovenia. The detailed analysis of the cities in this region covered overviews on the central topics of Population and Urbanization; The Economic Role of Cities; Social and Housing Issues; Urban Environmental Challenges; Urban Governance Systems; and Emerging Issues.
Nearly the entire staff of MRI researchers participated in the production of the analysis; moreover, MRI actively participated in the preparation of the project’s Summary Report.
Client: European Commission (FP7-SSH)
Project duraction: 33 months
DEMHOW was a 33-month research project funded by the European Union under the Socio-Economic and Humanities theme of its Framework 7 programme. Its starting point was the observation that macro level demographic processes lead to an EU-wide shrinking and ageing of populations, accompanied by another macro process: the EU-wide changes to housing systems. In almost all EU member states in there has been a significant increase in the size of home ownership sectors, so that some two-thirds of European households now own their homes.
The co-incidence of these two macro processes suggested the question of the extent to which home ownership provides a potential safeguard from some of the consequences of ageing populations, as well as how it contributes to the causes.
DEMHOW was launched in March 2008. Its 12 partners from across the EU undertook research and other activities in order to:
- investigate how the composition of wealth has changed with respect, in particular, to changes in population, housing systems, state pension arrangements, and financial institutions;
- investigate how attitudes toward the acquisition of housing assets and their use in old age are changing, particularly given that fewer people have children;
- identify past and future developments in financial markets, particularly in relation to equity release products;
- identify past and future developments in national and EU public policies in relation to the growth of home ownership and the use of housing equity in old age;
- identify the characteristics of pension systems based on housing assets;
- undertake dialogue and dissemination activities with researchers;
- undertake dialogue and dissemination activities with policy makers and others involved in the policy process.
Metropolitan Research Institute was a member of the DEMHOW consortium, led by University of Birmingham. The Institute contributed to the preparation of case studies, macro level housing analyses, and conducted numerous interviews to underpin the project’s
qualitative data generation leg.
Origins of security and insecurity: the interplay of housing systems with jobs, household structures, finance and social security
Client: EC (FP6-CITIZENS)
Project coordinator: University of Birmingham
Duration: April 2004 – December 2006
The starting points of this project was the restructuring of social rights across Europe, shifting the the meaning of citizenship. Housing has become an important site in which European households experience this restructuring. One consequence is the creation of new patterns of security and insecurity.
These patterns are themselves the result of the complex interplay of a number of elements including systems of housing provision with labour markets and job opportunities, the opportunities to access finance and systems of social support, combined with the strategies adopted by individuals. From the point of view of member states, or even the EU as a whole, outcomes that favour individuals do not necessarily favour society at large.
The project focused on security and insecurity within home ownership, and their wider implications. It’s two main objectives were to analyse the factors impacting upon individual households and their positions as home owners. Secondly, it established how households perceive the patterns of security and insecurity, advantage and disadvantage associated with different housing positions. It investigated how these perceptions mould personal (household) strategies with respect to housing, jobs, family size, education and pensions. Moreover, it assessed how these positions have provided households with material security and insecurity.
The project was built upon multilevel research in a range of European countries. It combined quantitative and qualitative analysis. The former used both macro (countrywide) and micro (household) data. Qualitative studies were based on household interviews. The identification of policy-relevant analysis and conclusions was emphatic throughout OSIS.
MRI was member of the OSIS consortium, contributing to both micro level research and macro level analysis, with a particular emphasis on processes in Central and Eastern European transition countries.