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Alternatives to the Housing Crisis | Case Study Vienna

May 19, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Redistribution, Architectural Models and Popular Agency

The worldwide crisis of a dramatic lack of affordable housing — even in affluent cities such as Vancouver and Vienna — is part of a larger urban crisis that is based on speculation of urban land, the re-distribution of wealth from the poor to the rich, and on the collectivization of losses and the privatization of gains characteristic of neoliberalism.

Therefore, is a politics aiming at the right to affordable housing for all is necessary in this moment. And housing, of course, is always more than itself — for we are housed in cities and thus also in infrastructural networks, power relations, public spaces, all of which are under pressure from market appropriation. In this talk, Gabu Heindl, architect and urban planner form Vienna, Austria, proposes equality, justice and the enabling of political dissensus as parameters for city planning.

Using Vienna as a case study, this lecture explores the relationship of affordable housing to urban planning politics and will discuss historic and current housing policies, not least in a critical cross-analysis with the Vancouver case. Touching upon the re-articulated model function of 1920s Red Vienna, Heindl will present her approach to combining strong claims (Setzungen) in public planning with a critique of paternalistic governance and with maintaining zones of contact with popular agency.

Click here for more information on the Vienna Model.


Gabu Heindl is an architect/urban planner and theorist in Vienna, Austria. Her practice (GABU Heindl Architecture) specializes in public interventions, cultural and social buildings, urban research and planning. Her current research focuses on a post-foundational theory of planning politics with regard to radical democracy in contemporary urbanism. Gabu currently teaches in the Institute for Architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. Since 2013, she has been president of ÖGFA (Austrian Society for Architects) and a lecturer at the Institute for Art and Architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts. She studied both in Vienna and Tokyo and did post-doctoral work at Princeton University as a Fulbright Scholar.

Gabu’s practice also includes the curation of exhibitions and symposia on issues of politics in architecture and urban planning. She is the editor of Just Architecture (ERA21, 2012), Arbeit Zeit Raum (turia+kant, 2008), and anthology on the relationship of post-Fordist work and architecture, and theco-editor of Position Alltag – Architecture in the Context of Everyday Life (HDA Verlag, 2009). She has published in numerous architectural journals such as JAE, Umbau, ARPA, Volume, and derive.


Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre
149 W Hastings
Vancouver, Canada


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