Bringing Home the Right to Housing to Advance Urban Sustainability
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The title of my talk today is Bringing Home the Right to Housing to Advance Urban Sustainability. You may ask what is the right to housing? Why do we need to bring it home? And what does it have to do with the broader topic of today’s symposium, urban sustainability? The human right to housing, although not a formal American federal or constitutional right, provides an important legal and normative framework that can help American cities and states better balance the needs of owners and non-owners in local housing and development struggles. If American cities and states want to create sustainable urban communities that will flourish for generations, they will need the human right to housing as one legal tool in their sustainability toolkit. If we understand the term urban sustainability to include not just the sustainability of the land, air, water, and spaces that humans occupy, but also the sustainability of the inhabitants and positive social relationships in urban spaces, then the human right to housing must become a part of cities’ urban sustainability arsenal.
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