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Property, tenancy & urban growth in Stockholm & Berlin, 1860-1920
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. (Centrum för Urbana och Regionala Studier)
2006 (English)Book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The study explores the cultural and political meanings attributed to house property ownership in Berlin and Stockholm during the course of the modern city building process and urbanisation in the late 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. The purpose of the study is to contribute to the understanding of the economic practice, and how individuals and markets are embedded in social norms and political and legal structures, to sustain the dynamics of development.

The study focuses the social, political and legal integration and activity of the house owners to master the changes of the real estate and housing market from the mid 19th century to the First World War. The investigation is divided into three parts. Part one analyses the local political development. In Berlin the house owners were guaranteed at least half of the seats in the City parliament from 1808 to 1918 according to a house owners’ privilege-clause. In Stockholm property owning was merely considered as an object of private means with no political privileges attached to it. During the 19th century, the house owners’ associations in both cities were strongholds for economic liberalism. But in Berlin a paternalistic and corporate logic also defined other official assignments that the house owners had to perform. In Stockholm on the other hand the house owners became subjected to the economic modernisation of the city governance. Part two considers the role of the house owners in the city building process. The house owners obtained an increasingly weaker economic position on the real estate market in relation to other actors, such as mortgage institutions, banks and land companies. The erection of large tenement-houses became the symbol of the irresponsible and profit-seeking small property-investor. The emergence of a social reform movement also meant that the economic order for housing was subjected to recurrent demands on state regulations and active political measures of the City administration to provide cheap land and dwellings for the working class. Part three analyses the rental market and how the relationship between landlords and tenants relatively late became subjected to social political legislation. Despite the reformation of the rent-laws in the early 20th century, the house owners, in their role as landlords, could safeguard their superiority to the tenants as the principle of freedom of contract remained largely untouched my the legislative authorities, at least until the domestic crises of the First World War.

Private ownership was the cut-off point for eventually all institutional, legal and political adjustments in the early 20th century, and more definitely so during and after the war. The thesis analyses how the house owners in both cities had different preconditions to handle the changes of the social and economic order and the emergence of new political priorities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Burlington, VT: Ashgate , 2006, 1. , p. 303
Series
Historical Urban Studies
Keyword [en]
property, urbanisation, city planning
National Category
Social and Economic Geography History
Research subject
History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-10710ISBN: 0-7546-5507-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-10710DiVA, id: diva2:319406
Available from: 2010-05-17 Created: 2010-05-17 Last updated: 2017-10-18Bibliographically approved

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Forsell, Håkan

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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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Output format
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