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-based parents who have autistic children, 2 this chapter highlights pre-existing housing inequalities which have exacerbated the challenges for many of managing the COVID-19 lockdowns (see also Tunstall, Chapter Two ; Kayanan et al, Chapter Seventeen ; Graham et al, Volume 1). The chapter raises issues of space, safety, and care in and out of the home. Learning from COVID-19 and in anticipation of future pandemics, it makes two recommendations. First, the appropriate allocation of social housing where necessary to families who have disabled children. Second, adequate

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77 FOUR no place like home? Housing inequality in later life Sue Adams • Average male life expectancy at birth in the Lenzie district of Glasgow is 82; in the Calton district of the same city it is 54.1 • Of the two million homes in England in serious disrepair, 38 per cent are occupied by older people.2 • The number of disabled people in England is set to double by 2041; poorer older people are more likely to need adaptations to their homes to live independently. • In remote rural areas 29 per cent of households in poverty contain someone over 60. The

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housing conditions, including overcrowding, flats, rented housing, and large households (author’s calculations). However, over time the virus spread into more varied localities and into care homes, and these correlations weakened. Nonetheless, most epidemiological models assume that large, mixed-age, or overcrowded households have increased risks of intra-household infection. Housing inequalities appear to have contributed to COVID-19 inequalities, for example, to the differences in death rates between ethnic groups in the UK (PHE, 2020 ). Overcrowded households were

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Gregory, 2018 ); a possible underestimation taking on board the impacts overcrowding and poor conditions have had on exposure to COVID-19 (Public Health England (PHE), 2020 ). While the outcomes of housing inequalities have worsened because of COVID-19, the ‘Stay at Home’ message and subsequent adaptation measures prompted a reconfiguring of housing and ‘home’ for many. While some had little option but to spend more time exposed to hazardous conditions, others have spent time adapting to new working conditions in housing spaces. As debates are ongoing about the

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The COVID-19 pandemic was not a great ‘equaliser’, but rather an event whose impact intersected with pre-existing inequalities affecting different people, places, and geographic scales. Nowhere is this more apparent than in housing.

Written by an international group of experts, this book casts light on how the virus has impacted the experience of home and housing through the lens of wider urban processes around transportation, land use, planning policy, racism, and inequality. Case studies from around the world examine issues around gentrification, housing processes, design, systems, finance and policy.

Offering crucial insights for reforming cities to be more resilient to future crises, this is an invaluable resource for scholars and policy makers alike.

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Fang, though her accounts remain one of the most vivid of the early phases of the pandemic. Philip Brown, Rachel Armitage, Leanne Monchuk, Dillon Newton, and Brian Robson ( Chapter Ten ) outline in broad terms how housing inequalities have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Drawing on interviews with households living in poor-quality housing, they investigate how pre-existing housing conditions amplify residents’ experiences of that housing. Their chapter focuses on physical characteristics of dwellings (that is, damp and heating problems) as well as social aspects

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Vacancy, Urban Politics and International Experiments in the Post-crisis City

This book provides an innovative perspective to consider contemporary urban challenges through the lens of urban vacancy.

Centering urban vacancy as a core feature of urbanization, the contributors coalesce new empirical insights on the impacts of recent contestations over the re-use of vacant spaces in post-crisis cities across the globe.

Using international case studies from the Global North and Global South, it sheds important new light on the complexity of forces and processes shaping urban vacancy and its re-use, exploring these areas as both lived spaces and sites of political antagonism. It explores what has and hasn’t worked in re-purposing vacant sites and provides sustainable blueprints for future development.

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In recent years, human geography and other related fields have developed an increasing interest in ruins of the recent past. Expressions such as ‘ruins of modernity’ (Dawdy, 2010; Hell and Schönle, 2010), ‘industrial ruins’ (Edensor, 2005; Mah, 2012) or ‘new ruins’ (Kitchin et al, 2014; Martin, 2014) bear witness to rising attention to the relevance of studying material leftovers of our time. Throughout these debates, several attempts have been made to define what is ‘new’ about ruins of today. Kitchin et al (2014) consider the ruins that appeared after the global financial crisis in 2008 as a new form of ruination because, here, ruins were not a result of disuse, but a product of speculation about a promised future. The ‘ghost estates’ in Ireland, for instance, have never been used and are therefore considered testimonies of novel financialised forms of urbanisation. Another differentiation between ‘old’ and ‘new’ ruins can be found in Dylan Trigg’s (2009: 142–50) The Aesthetics of Decay. Comparing ‘classical’ and post-industrial ruins, Trigg pursues the argument that the classical ruin, in contrast to the ruin of the present, is no longer considered as in an active process of decay, which allows us to perceive it as an absolute object in order, which might even be viewed as a beautiful object. In the ruin of the present, however, the process of decay is still ongoing, offering an understanding of ruins as structures in which decay is still hovering. In the new ruin, disorder and ongoing destruction predominate aesthetic perception.

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De Silvey and Edensor (2013: 467) define ruins as ‘structures and places that have been classified (by someone, at some time) as residual or unproductive, but equally most of these sites remain open to appropriation and recuperation’. Urban ruins, therefore, are more than physical by-products of capitalist ‘creative destruction’ (Harvey, 1985); they may offer the touchstone for alternative imaginings of the city. As O’Callaghan et al (2018) argue, urban ‘remainders’ have the potential to create spaces of discursive and material struggle over questions of social and spatial justice, such as when alternative communities create urban commons during times of economic austerity. However, what happens when inhabitants are violently removed from a ‘productive’ place, which is made into a ruin by racist policies? Years later, what does it mean to ‘inherit’ ruins of spatial injustice – for groups and individuals that were traumatised, for bystanders, and for perpetrators?

This chapter contributes to discussions of the ‘dynamic and unsettled’ nature of ruins (DeSilvey and Edensor, 2013: 466) by considering their complex and shifting geopolitical temporal-spatial relations in cities marked by extreme forms of violence and spatial injustice, including forced removals and genocide. I focus on a rather mundane ‘ruin’, a former Jewish girls’ school in Central Berlin that was created by the virulent anti-Semitism of National Socialism. Located on Auguststrasse in the central residential district, Berlin-Mitte, the heart of Jewish Berlin, the school was closed in 1942 by the Nazis and later converted to a wartime hospital. It survived the bombings of the Second World War, and was reused by the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) as the ‘Bertolt Brecht’ grammar school until 1966.

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A long patch of vacant land appears through the windows of the train moving from the airport to the centre of Berlin. This linear zone of grasslands stretches alongside the tracks passing through the south-eastern district of Schöneweide. A former roundhouse drifts by, followed by a derelict brewery covered in shrubs and a banner appealing to ‘leave no one behind’. Traversing Berlin’s track wilderness has long stirred the imagination of artists and filmmakers. In the 1981 film Berliner Stadtbahnbilder, the German writer and director Alfred Behrens secretly captured his train journeys across the divided city. The film portrays a marooned transport network of geopolitically induced disrepair: deserted platforms and defunct tracks overgrown by birch trees; a railway landscape suspended in time; or, as Behrens describes it, ‘a post-industrial wilderness at the heart of the city’.1

Over the past two decades, patches of this urban wilderness have been absorbed into prize-winning public parks. An example includes the Natur-Park Südgelände in Schöneberg that opened in May 2000 – an abandoned railway yard that was designated a nature reserve and conservation area, with grassland biotopes and wild-growing woodlands (Kowarik and Langer, 2005). Another example, which has been widely celebrated in the field of landscape design, is Park am Gleisdreieck in Kreuzberg, completed in 2013. The park design evokes a new type of ‘wasteland aesthetic’ (Gandy, 2013: 1306) by integrating Gleiswildnis (‘track wilderness’), as signs label the remnants of wild forest, with various leisure and sports facilities.

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