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Housing Activism Initiatives and Land-Use Conflicts: Pathways for Participatory Planning and Urban Sustainable Development in Bucharest City, Romania


  • Mariana Nae

    (Faculty of Geography, University of Bucharest, 1.Blv. Nicolae Bălcescu, Bucharest 010041, Romania)

  • Liliana Dumitrache

    (Faculty of Geography, University of Bucharest, 1.Blv. Nicolae Bălcescu, Bucharest 010041, Romania)

  • Bogdan Suditu

    (Faculty of Geography, University of Bucharest, 1.Blv. Nicolae Bălcescu, Bucharest 010041, Romania)

  • Elena Matei

    (Faculty of Geography, University of Bucharest, 1.Blv. Nicolae Bălcescu, Bucharest 010041, Romania)


This paper presents a geographical perspective of the phenomena of housing activism and land-use conflicts per se. It focuses not only on their spatial manifestations, but also on the complexity of the perceived meanings, values, and the power relationships among the involved parties, rooting into activist geographies. The research methodology was based on two complementary methods: frame analysis to observe the emergence, sources of land-use conflicts, and nature of the relationships between the actors involved; and discourse analysis to explore the social interactions and power relations between structures and practices related to housing activism. For a more inclusive perspective on the sources of land-use conflicts and housing activism initiatives in Bucharest, we used a combination and triangulation of various sources and modes of data collection. Compared with other European cities with active civic engagement, this phenomenon is still emerging in Bucharest. Although conflicts are numerous, the civic initiatives are still fragmented and fail to generate a vision and implementable public policy. However, multiple assaults on urban spaces (green areas, historically protected areas) have resulted in more actions and actors (individual or organised) becoming civically engaged. The article contributes to the environmental debates that stress housing activism as a pathway to participatory planning initiatives.

Suggested Citation

  • Mariana Nae & Liliana Dumitrache & Bogdan Suditu & Elena Matei, 2019. "Housing Activism Initiatives and Land-Use Conflicts: Pathways for Participatory Planning and Urban Sustainable Development in Bucharest City, Romania," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(22), pages 1-26, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:11:y:2019:i:22:p:6211-:d:284186

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    References listed on IDEAS

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