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Funding from Formas for project about tenure forms and resident activism in Tynnered, Sweden


Robin Biddulph and Mattias Sandberg, both researchers in Human Geography at the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg, have received SEK 3.5 million from Formas, for a three-year research project that will look at tenure forms and resident activism in Tynnered, Sweden.

The Right to Buy in Marginalised Urban Areas: how is local participation in urban planning and housing decision-making affected?

Research into the conversion of public rental housing into tenant owned cooperatives in Sweden has focused on inner city locations and processes of gentrification, and emphasised the role of tenure conversion in broader trends of widening inequality and geographical marginalisation. This project will focus on the specific effects of tenure conversions in marginalised urban areas, where tenure conversions have been advocated as a means to reduce segregation and criminality.

The purpose of this project is to study a case of tenure conversion in western Gothenburg and draw lessons for housing policy and practice in marginalised urban areas in Sweden and beyond.

In order to achieve this purpose, we aim to:

  1. Compare population dynamics and resident experiences between converted and unconverted blocks in the same immediate environment
  2. Study the effects of the tenure conversion on residents’ engagement in improving their social and physical environment, with particular attention to the emergence of a middle class female leadership
  3. To study the potentials and limitations of resident activism by means of a three-cycle action research collaboration following the “feminist agenda” of the steering committee of BRF Topasberget

Conclusions will be drawn with caution. Tenure conversions in marginalised areas implemented without an increasing supply of housing or a more diverse tenure mix in affluent areas will not contribute to overcoming structural segregation and inequality.