A Research Agenda for Housing
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A Research Agenda for Housing

Edited by Markus Moos

Housing is one of the most pertinent issues of our time. Shaped by rapid urbanization, financialization, and various changes in demography, technology, political ideology and public policy, the provision of affordable, adequate, and suitable housing has become an increasingly challenging feat. From high-rise apartment towers constructed in global cities around the world to informal settlements rapidly expanding across the global south, this volume focuses on how political, economic, and societal changes are shaping housing in a variety of contexts.
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Chapter 12: What’s livable? Comparing concepts and metrics for housing and livability

Nathanael Lauster


Livability figures prominently both in various policy documents, including those attempting to mandate a right to housing, and in measurements meant to compare cities. How do different kind of documents that bear upon livability and housing across different scales attempt to wrestle with, define and measure what’s livable? Focusing on the Vancouver case, where livability remains a prominent concern, I explore UN frameworks, livability ratings agencies, national housing measures, metropolitan planning documents and municipal by-laws to provide some insight into this question. In general, as livability concerns shift from broad national and international to more locally focused documents, they tend to become more specific, narrower in orientation and more exclusionary in effect.

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