Pandemic, Property, and Planning

Mona Fawaz contributed to the film Pandemic, Property, and Planning, directed by Sony Pellissery, Ben Davy, and Harvey Jacob, and produced by the Institute of Public Policy at the National Law School of India University in Bengaluru, India. The film interviewed property and planning academics and experts from across the world on COVID-19’s impact on land, property rights, and the effects the pandemic will have on land and property-related policy from a social responsibility perspective.

Before discussing the multiplied hardships brought along by the pandemic, speakers agreed that property and land ownership is a privilege that grants owners a range of freedoms. Fawaz underscored how the pandemic brought to the fore the devastating impact of decades of financialization everywhere, and how poor living conditions are the outcome of the commodification of the lands globally and the prioritization of financial investment over the right to shelter. Other participants emphasized the need for restrictions on the rights of private property and the importance of safeguarding the rights to protest inefficient governmental policies. Some also noted the need for property reforms to be based on social responsibility and humanity. Watch the short film here.