Having as a starting point the complexity of factors that have shaped Nicosia though time, the conference seeks to understand conditions of the unsettled and the respective challenges posed to housing. Contemporary everyday life is characterized by diverse manifestations of instability (urban conflicts and contestations, revolutions in political life, terrorism, internal displacements and mobility, migration, global forces vs local socio-spatial realities) which continuously challenge and redefine cities’ infrastructures. The experience of urban life in such contexts – transient, fragmented, changeable and unpredictable – contrasts to concepts of dwelling based on stability, permanence, locality and a sense of belonging. Unsettling practices (whether they involve displacement through war conflicts, market-led gentrification or local communities’ initiatives) simultaneously challenge the production of housing environments and dwellings which many times take place against a backdrop painted by uncertainty and change.
The proposed umbrella topic aims to explore and understand uncertainties and instabilities which shape contemporary urban living, to unveil critical concerns in the impact of such unsettling practices on the production of housing environments and to foster an inquiry into potential responses in the form of policies, governance, social innovation, community initiatives and planners’ investments.