*First+last CFP AAG 2020 Denver: 3 sessions on housing and real estate*

Dear all,

Please find below three sessions on housing and real estate at the American
Association of Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting, Denver, Colorado, April
6-10, 2020, 

If you are interested in presenting at one of these sessions, please
contact the organizer/chair of that session. I am only the organizer of the
first session. If in doubt about the best fit, you could e-mail two of
sessions’ organizers. *Please send your e-mail by Friday October 25 at
latest. *

You will also need to register for the AAG conference and upload your
abstract to the online system. The AAG website will then provide you with a
*PIN*, which you need to send to the organizer of your session, as we will
need it to add your abstract to our sessions. In other words: you need to
submit your abstract once by e-mail and once online.

Once all the abstracts are in, the organizers of the three sessions will
coordinate between them to construct time-slots of 4-5 presentations each.
This implies we may be combining two of the themes below to construct
additional sub-sessions, e.g. one on residential REITs (1+2), housing
construction/development (1+3) or one on real estate development by/for
REITs (2+3).

Best regards,

Manuel Aalbers

*-- *

Manuel B. Aalbers, Ph.D.

KU Leuven / University of Leuven

Department of Geography & Tourism

Celestijnenlaan 200e -- bus 2409

3001  Heverlee




*Housing and Real Estate (1): The Housing Financialization/Affordability

*If interested, please send an abstract (less than 250 words) to Manuel
Aalbers (manuel.aalb...@kuleuven.be) by Friday, October 25. Notification of
decision will be made asap.*

Affordability has always been an important topic within studies of housing
markets and policies, but has received renewed impetus in the age of
financialization. Whereas “financial solutions” are typically presented as
expanding housing affordability to more social groups, the effect is
typically one of price inflation. Depending on global, national and local
policies and conditions this may either result in reduced affordability or
in increased indebtness. Yet the narrative that finance enables
homeownership remains strong and is rolled out to informal housing markets.
Furthermore, the financialization of rental housing has become an important
frontier. While the effect on new construction has been limited, the effect
on housing affordability, by and large, has been negative. New corporate
landlords are also using new strategies and digital platforms to manage
property and tenants, possibly leading to new patterns of inclusion and

*Housing and Real Estate (1): **The Geographies of Real Estate Investment

*If interested, please send an abstract (less than 250 words) to Taylor
Hafley (taylor.haf...@uga.edu) by Friday, October 25. Notification of
decision will be made by Friday, November 1.*

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) have grown rapidly in urban and
financial geographies during the 21st century. Today, an estimated one in
four Americans are partial owners of the more than 500,000 REIT properties
nationwide (reit.com). Originally constrained to United States shopping
centers, REITs now operate around the globe, and include real estate such
as single-family homes, timber and farmland, data centers, and electric
transmission lines within the US.

The 2020 AAG meeting marks REITs’ 50th anniversary, and while there has
been a recent uptick in interest from geographers (for example: Waldron,
2018; August and Walks, 2018; Aalbers, 2019; Hofman and Aalbers, 2019;
Sanfelici and Halbert, 2019; Wijburg, 2019), REITs remain an understudied
aspect of critical geographic inquiry. As a corporate structure that
functions to turn fixed real estate into financial liquidity (Gotham,
2006), REITs link an array of property types and institutional investment
funds. The rise of REITs raise questions about the increasingly blurred
lines between property types; the concentration of land ownership and
increasing power over social, political, and economic processes by partial
and absentee landlords; and imbalances between market capitalization and
gross real estate assets.

We seek papers mapping out and uncovering the range of geographies in which
REITs are manifest, and the various social, political, and economic
strategies REITs undertake to exert influence over metropolitan space, at
multiple scales. The session welcomes papers examining all types of REITs
with aims of developing a broader understanding within geography of this
increasingly popular financial asset and property owner, addressing
questions such as:


   What broader political economic factors have contributed to the rapid
   flow of institutional investment into REITs since the Great Financial

   What role do REITs play in producing global inequality, housing
   insecurity, and financial instability? In what ways do these processes
   unfold unevenly in both metropolitan and financial markets? How can we
   ‘spatialize’ these instabilities? (see, for example, Dymski, 2017).

   How susceptible are REITs to boom and bust cycles? How do downturns in
   stock prices and shareholder value effect service delivery and property

   What methodological strategies and approaches are useful and available
   to uncovering company information such as properties owned, sources of
   funding, or corporate decision-making processes?

   The limited research that does exist within geography focuses primarily
   on housing and timber and farmland. Which additional REIT sectors warrant
   urgent attention from geographers?

   In what ways do the answers to any of the above differ for listed and
   non-listed REITs, and vary across REIT sectors?

Additional topics of interest as they relate to REITs may include, but is
far from limited to:


   platform urbanism and new technologies of rent extraction (Fields, 2019)

   racialized and gendered inclusion and exclusion

   local governance, austerity urbanism, and ‘fiscal geographies’ (Tapp and
   Kay, 2019)

   rentier capitalism (Byrne, 2017; Christophers, 2019; Radical Housing
   Journal, Vol 1.2)

   studies of financialization ‘from below’ (Ouma, 2014) and “getting
   between M-C-M’” (Ouma, 2018)

   the global housing crisis (Beswick et al. 2016)

   Historical geographies of REITs


Aalbers, M. B. 2019. Revisiting ‘The Changing State of Gentrification’:
Introduction to the Forum: From Third to Fifth-Wave Gentrification.
voor Economishe en Sociale Geographie *11(1): 1-11

August, M. and A. Walks. 2018. Gentrification, suburban decline, and the
financialization of multi-family rental housing: The case of Toronto. *Geoforum
*89: 124-136

Byrne, M. 2019. Generation rent and the financialization of housing: a
comparative exploration of the growth of the private rental sector in
Ireland, the UK and Spain. *Housing Studies. *

Christophers, B. 2019. The rentierization of the United Kingdom
economy. *Environment
and  Planning A 

Dymski. G.A. 2017. Finance and Financial Systems: Evolving Geographies of
Crisis and Instability, pp 539-556, in Clark, G., M.P. Feldman, M.S.
Gertler, and D. Wójcik, eds, *The New Oxford Handbook of Economic Geography

Fields, D. 2019. Automated landlord: digital technologies and post-crisis
financial accumulation. *Environment and Planning A *0(0): 1-22.

Gotham, K.F. 2006. The Secondary Circuit of Capital Reconsidered:
Globalization and the U.S. Real Estate Sector. * American Journal of
Sociology* 112(1): 231-275.

Hofman, A. and M.B. Aalbers. 2019. A finance- and real estate-driven regime
in the United Kingdom. *Geoforum *100: 89-100

Ouma, S. 2014. Situating global finance in the Land Rush Debate: A critical
review. *Geoforum *57:162-166

Ouma, S. 2018. Rethinking the financialization of ‘nature’. *Environment
and Planning A*, 50(3):500-511 Radical Housing Journal. 2019. Interrogating
Rent: Structures, Struggles and Subjectivities.

Sanfelici, D. and L. Halbert. 2019. Financial market actors as urban
policy-makers: the case of real estate investment trusts in Brazil

Tapp, R. and K. Kay. 2019. Fiscal geographies: ‘Placing’ taxation in urban
geography. *Urban Geography *40(4): 573-581

Wijburg, G. 2019. Reasserting state power by remaking markets? The
introduction of real estate investment trusts in France and its
implications for state-finance relation in the Greater Paris region. *Geoforum

*Housing and Real Estate (3): The Role of Real Estate Developers in Urban

*Session Id:* 25333

*Organizers:* Anthony Boanada-Fuchs & Vanessa Boanada Fuchs, University of

*Interested scholars should send an abstract (less than 250 words) to
Anthony (**anthony.boanada-fu...@unisg.ch**) by Friday, October 25.
Notification of decision will be sent out by October 30.*


As the world is predominantly - and increasingly - urban, cities will be
essential to advance global prosperity and answering the great development
challenges of our times. Urban development is driven by decision-making
processes that transgress sectoral and geographic confinement and involve a
wide range of stakeholders. While politicians or planners may often at best
set out the broad spatial and functional visions of a city, other actors
are in charge of putting these into reality: cities are foremost a private
enterprise (Molotch and Logan 1987).

Still in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, triggered by
international real estate practices, the time may be ripe to revisit urban
theories and assess their capacity to capture the implications of the
global financialisation of real estate markets, the increasing dependence
of value-capture and private finance in local urban planning systems, the
privatization of urban space and the proliferation of spatial injustice.
Real estate developers provide an important entry point as they are
intimately linked to these processes.

Real estate developers are central agents of change and influence urban
development throughout the world. Despite the centrality of these
stakeholders in steering urbanization processes and their spatial
manifestation, the existing body of literature remains thin (Adams &
Tiesdell, 2010; Coiacetto, 2009). One of the first edited books on
development and developers was written by Guy and Henneberry (2002) and
already revealed a broad range of approaches to improve our institutional
understanding of real estate markets (see also Fainstein 1994). Currently,
the theoretical and practical insights on developers remain fragmented with
little dialogue among their many parts.

The panel aims at uniting scholars interested in the geography of profits
and politics that underlies the creation of our built environment. We
invite contributions that highlight the role of developers in urban
development in the Global North as well as South.

*Call For Submissions:*

The panel organizers are particularly interested in thick case study
analysis that highlight one or several roles real estate developers play
within urban development. The roles include but are not limited to (i) the
involvement in the discourse, vision and idea making of cities and
important urban projects, (ii) formal and informal influences in
policymaking, (iii) strategic roles in the elaboration of urban plans and
strategy, (iv) the building of cities and urban space. A second interest is
on the analysis of the financial mechanisms of real estate projects as well
as strategies and decision-making processes within real estate firms.

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