Book Review: Ralf Brand and Sarah Fregonese 2013: The Radicals’ City: Urban Environment, Polarisation, Cohesion. Surrey: Ashgate.
in International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (2014), 38(6),Detailed reference viewed: 26 (3 ULg)
Promoting the single-family house in Belgium: the social construction of model housing
in International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (1988), 12(4), 531-549
Urbanization in Belgium is a process of diffusion rather a process of urban concentration, though the country is very densely populated. In this process the state does not look to have a leading role. The ... [more ▼]
Urbanization in Belgium is a process of diffusion rather a process of urban concentration, though the country is very densely populated. In this process the state does not look to have a leading role. The paper examines how the housing policy determines this process of urbanization, namely by promoting the ownership and the individual house. The housing policy, initiated in years of deep social crisis, can only be understood as an upper-class response to the riots in 1886 : the housing policy is intended to give and enforce a social definition of working class, with various interpretation granted by the political opposing forces. The “garden-city” model was then promoted because it allowed to make apolitical compromise between these interpretations. But it was an ideological model with only a few realisations. However it allowed the dominant preference for individual housing to become the real model wich was implemented through the numerous measures wich constitutes the housing policy. In the following stages, a lot of measures came to enlarge the benefit of the public aid to other social groups. From this analysis, it becomes clear that one of the social functions of the housing policy is to enforce the different representations of the social structure wich do no longer need a moralizing discourse because of the hidden connections between the space, the social structure and the policy system. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 58 (18 ULg)