The Logic of Urban Squatting


Existing frameworks tend to break down when applied to the analysis of urban squatting. Five basic configurations — combinations of features that fit together well and are therefore effective — are discussed in this article. Where squatting is concerned, the configurations differ with respect to the following: the characteristics of the people involved, the type of building, the framing, the demands made by activists, and mobilization and organization patterns. Each configuration also entails specific problems. Deprivation‐based squatting involves poor people who are distressed because of severe housing deprivation. In squatting as an alternative housing strategy, people organize squatting to meet their own housing needs. Entrepreneurial squatting offers opportunities for setting up almost any kind of establishment without the need for large resources or the risk of getting bogged down in bureaucracy. Conservational squatting is a tactic used in the preservation of a cityscape or landscape against efficiency‐driven planned transformation. Political squatting is a field of action for those who are engaged in anti‐systemic politics.