The socio-urban integration capacity of new social housing in urban renewal contexts (Buenos Aires, Argentina): Impacts on the trajectories of its recipients and on urban environments
Funding period: 1 May 2024 – 1 August 2024
Type of funding: International Fellowship
Mercedes Najman is an Assistant Researcher at Conicet based at the Gino Germani Research Institute (IIGG) of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Buenos Aires. She has a degree in sociology (UBA), a Master’s degree in Design and Management of Social Programs (FLACSO) and a Ph.D in Social Sciences (UBA). Additionally, she works as a Professor in social research methodology and urban sociology subjects. She is currently coordinator of the Urban Studies Area of the IIGG. Her research interests include the analysis of social housing policies, the configuration of exclusive urban structures, spatial mobility practices from a biographical perspective and the links between residential and socio-labor insertion mechanisms. Mercedes’ work mainly focuses on the role played by housing policies (which sought to relocate families that previously lived in informal settlements in Buenos Aires) on the living conditions and the trajectories of social exclusion of its inhabitants. In her work she has questioned the capacity of these policies to transform the opportunity structures of their inhabitants, the characteristics of neighborhood environments and the dynamics of socio-urban integration of these territories. Currently, Mercedes has been researching the differential effects for the city and its inhabitants of recent, heterogeneous, social housing policy initiatives in the City of Buenos Aires. She focuses mainly on its different location characteristics, to the extent that the different housing solutions are located in different areas of the city (with access to unequal urban externalities), in different types of urban environments (of formal origin or informal), they involve different types of relocation (short or long distance) and are generally accompanied by other urban improvement measures and projects that seek to renew these areas. Her recent research explores the impacts of these policies on the urban structure, spatial inequalities and the living conditions of their inhabitants.
Mercedes’ coordinates the Scientific and Technological Research Project (PICT) ‘The new state housing in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires: its effects on living and its inhabitants’, is a member of the Federal Network of Studies on Rental Housing (FEVA – one of the high-impact networks recognized by the Argentine Ministry of Science), participates in different research groups framed in the studies of urban inequalities and spatial mobility and is part of the Ibero-American Research Network on urban policies, movements and conflicts. She also has served as an expert consultant in evaluations of Local and National habitat and transportation policies. Through her theatre-documentary work ‘Residential Trajectories’ he has sought to establish channels of dissemination and awareness about urban problems in non-academic environments.
As a USF International Fellow, Mercedes will spend three months working in the Department of Geography at UCL (University College London) under the mentorship of Professor Ann Varley.