Geographica Helvetica (Sep 2022)

Cross-fertilizing knowledge, translation, and topologies: learning from urban housing policies for policy mobility studies

  • C. Fricke

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 77
pp. 405 – 416


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Recently, urban housing policies in Europe have become more mobile, developing local responses to the housing question by building on examples from other cities. To understand the movement of policies, the policy mobility debate suggests sometimes irreconcilable concepts and we still need concepts that address the spatial dimension of how urban housing policies travel between places. The article reflects on the extent to which selected concepts – policy knowledge, translation, and topologies – allow an explicit treatment of movement and materiality in a geographical understanding of housing policy mobilities. To cross-fertilize these concepts, the article revisits how key definitions relate to each other, and assesses the extent to which these concepts allow to understand the mobilization and localization of urban housing policies in particular contexts. Overall, the article offers a nuanced conceptualization of interurban movements and the spatial–material dimension of housing policies, and thereby enhances future empirical studies on urban housing policy.