Place To Call Home

Cities worldwide face challenges related to housing availability and affordability. Wages are failing to keep pace with rising rents, and the addition of new, accessibly priced housing inventory is sluggish. The issue is prevalent, and approaches to alleviating the pressure can vary widely.

AAP students studying at Cornell in Rome this spring explored the timely topic of housing access with course work across several classes. Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies for Real Estate Suzanne Lanyi Charles co-taught the Rome Workshop with City and Regional Planning (CRP) Lecturer Greg Smith this semester, which examined housing issues in three neighborhoods. Charles also led a CRP Special Topics in Planning course on the impacts of housing financialization. Further, while the semester’s European Cities class didn’t focus specifically on the topic, it sits at the crossroads of many urban studies discussions, so CRP Visiting Critics Viviana Andriola and Serena Muccitelli added visits to two housing landmarks to their Rome itineraries. Class field trips to sites at the city’s periphery (Garbatella, Corviale, La Certosa, Don Bosco, and Vigne Nuove) and outside Napoli (Scampia), Bologna, Parma, and Milan presented opportunities for observations beyond the classroom.

“Everybody needs to live somewhere,” notes Charles, whose teaching and research largely focus on how housing is created and financed. “Each of the three neighborhoods that the students studied in the workshop presents questions that necessarily involve housing. Interestingly, all of these examples raise pertinent parallel questions for housing in the US.”

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