Volume 41  Issue 4  July 2017

In This Issue...

This issue has two prominent themes. The symposium interrogates the conceptualization of financial capital in housing production and consumption, while the three regular articles cover region building, spatial imaginaries for building new regional identities, and soft but lingering regional identities. The influx of financial capital into urban space has long fascinated critical urban research beyond behaviouristic description. However, how to measure such a flow, or indeed to conceptualize it, presents a challenge. The question has become significant particularly since the global financial crisis in 2008, which exposed some unknown practices in financing housing. However, more than merely confirming a process of so-called ‘financialization of housing’, the collection draws on diverse geographies and the more ‘unusual’ sector of rental housing which receives private equity investment. The value of this symposium is that these articles not only expose variegated forms of financialization but also rebut a universal trend of financialization, due to regulatory constraints or path-dependence. Instead of seeing financialization everywhere, as a truly international journal we see case studies from East Germany and Brazil in addition to New York and the Netherlands, but also public-sector housing. An intriguing question would be how the conceptualization of financialization applies to urban development in general beyond the specific housing sector or specific tenure. While the urban is the focus of this journal, the three articles in the regular section together advance our understanding about the region. We see the region as a process—region building through spatial imaginaries and the politics behind them. These imaginaries are soft, fluid but durable. Some are created by specific development strategies, far from the real economy; similarly, when the real economy recedes, these territorialized identities will persist for a long time.

— Fulong Wu


The Variegated Financialization of Housing

Privatization, Financialization and State Restructuring in Eastern Germany: The case of Am Südpark

The Financialization of A Social Housing Provider

Unwilling Subjects of Financialization

Financialization of Housing in Brazil: New Frontiers

The Financialization of Housing Production in Brussels


Real Geographies, Real Economies and Soft Spatial Imaginaries: Creating a ‘More than Manchester’ Region

Using the Past to Construct Territorial Identities in Regional Planning: The Case of Mälardalen, Sweden

Killing the Regional Leviathan? Deinstitutionalization and Stickiness of Regions

Book Reviews

Jonathan Crush, Abel Chikanda and Caroline Skinner (eds.) 2015: Mean Streets: Migration, Xenophobia and Informality in South Africa. Cape Town: Southern African Migration Programme, the African Center for Cities and the International Development Research Center Daniel Goldstein 2016: Owners of the Sidewalk: Security and Survival in the Informal City. Durham, NC: Duke University Press

Thomas J. Main 2016: Homelessness in New York City: Policymaking from Koch to de Blasio. New York: New York University Press

Tracy Neumann 2016: Remaking the Rust Belt: The Postindustrial Transformation of North America. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press

Robert Argenbright 2016: Moscow under Construction. City Building, Place-Based Protest, and Civil Society. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books

Rosemary Wakeman 2016: Practicing Utopia: An Intellectual History of the New Town Movement. Chicago: University of Chicago Press

Martin van der Velde and Ton van Naerssen (eds.) 2015: Mobility and Migration Choices: Thresholds to Crossing Borders. Aldershot: Ashgate