Manchester (2020)

“Crisis in housing! Back to the city? But can we afford it?”

In 2020 SCUPAD organised a virtual “get together” and “get to Manchester”. Andreas Schulze Bäing guided us through Manchester including contextual input on the housing sector in the city. Via the virtual communication plattform zoom we met, received a presentation on the current housing situation in Manchester and “walked” through the respective housing development areas using a mix of photos, Google Earth and Google Street View. This will follow the original theme of the study tour: “Crisis in housing! Back to the city? But can we afford it?”

While the global move towards an urban age is often associated with the rapid urbanisation in Africa and Asia, many European and North-American cities have also seen a revival of inner cities and urban living. After decades of suburbanisation, urban sprawl and growth in small and medium towns, even formerly shrinking cities such as Leipzig or Liverpool have seen a remarkable revival and population growth, often described as re-urbanisation. This trend has though led to growing concerns about housing affordability. For example, in many London boroughs the median house price is now 10 times higher than the median income, while Germany with its high share of tenants, saw the introduction of rent control measures, the so-called Mietpreisbremse.

The 2020 SCUPAD study tour will focus on the theme of housing in cities by exploring the city of Manchester. We will discuss the current trends of urban change and the impact on affordability. But we will also explore political and planning responses to these processes. What is the current role of social housing? What is the potential of urban intensification in cities? Do we need to rethink the principles of urban containment and consider new concepts for strategic urban expansion? Will private sector developers provide sufficient housing, or is there a need to reconsider the provision of public or social housing? What can we learn from Manchester to apply in other cities, and what can Manchester learn from other cities? These are some of the questions we will debate and explore on the study visit. The program will consist of a series of talk and visits to neighbourhoods/projects in the city and city-region of Manchester.

We were thrilled to experience a new form of excursion into actual urban space! In conclusion there was the possibility for networking, chitchat and casual hanging out with each other. We recorded the session and shared it, so those of you who can’t attend life have a chance to watch it later on. The live meeting took place on June 26th at 6 pm CEST (Central European Summer Time) 5pm BST (British Summer Time).

Schedule – all times CEST – Central European Summer Time

18:00-18:30 Welcome and catchup

19:00-19:45 Introduction lecture to housing and reurbanisation in the UK and in Greater Manchester (Andreas Schulze Baing)

20:15-21:15 Virtual tour through Manchester visiting current and recent housing developments

21:15-21:45 Conclusion and open discussion