Social Value Of Land

The 'public' nature of land, its communal or 'societal' value, has come under severe strain due to the widespread adoption of the property "ownership model" in modern land registries worldwide. In addition, decades of neoliberal policymaking have channeled financial investments in the built environment, exacerbating this pattern. This thematic area explores comparatively the processes through which the flow of financial capital materializes in cities and regions as well as possible strategies to recover the built environment as a space to live, work, or play.
Research on the social value of land has two main components. A first analytical component seeks to unravel the actual materialization of neoliberal policymaking in urban contexts and to document its repercussions on the spatial fabric of cities (e.g., seafront coast, public spaces, open areas, housing stock), as well as its social impacts on families and individuals looking for housing. The second component explores policy responses and/or activist strategies that can potentially recover the social value of urban land as a space of shared living. It does so through studying existing strategies and proposals, and developing alternative, more inclusive and equitable, interventions (e.g. Beirut Zone 10, You Can Stay in Beirut, the recovery of public spaces, fighting vacancy).