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Coursera

Housing Justice: A View from Indian Cities

Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) via Coursera

Overview

This course will introduce learners to different approaches to thinking about housing justice, bringing together material, ecological, social and spatial approaches to thinking about housing. Rooting itself in Indian cities, but speaking more broadly to struggles for housing justice more globally, it will offer a diagnosis of what housing justice looks like as well as the modes and practices that can move us towards it ranging from activism and direct action to public policy and participatory governance.

Syllabus

  • Introduction to the Course
    • This course introduces learners to different approaches to thinking about housing justice, bringing together material, ecological, social and spatial approaches to thinking about housing. Rooting itself in Indian cities, but speaking more broadly to struggles for housing justice more globally, it will offer a diagnosis of what housing justice looks like as well as the modes and practices that can move us towards it ranging from activism and direct action to public policy and participatory governance. Listen to the introductory video to get a sense of how its organised and our three key learning elements: lecture videos, interactive dashboards with additional resources materials, and then exercises to aid understanding. Then, take a second to introduce yourself in the Discussion Forum labelled 'Introductions'. In case you have any questions for us, use the Discussion Prompt on Course Admin FAQs! And finally, we have a Pre-course Survey for you through which we would like understand more about your motivations and objectives. Do spend a few minutes on this survey questionnaire to help us improve the course as we go along!
  • Framing Module on Housing and Housing Justice
    • This module starts us off by unpacking our two key terms: housing, and housing justice. This course makes a fundamental move to say that housing is more than just houses. Housing is fundamentally economic, material, social, spatial and political at the same time. So start with the first video on the Introduction to Housing, spend time with the Interactive Dashboard and take Quiz 1 that will help you consolidate your understanding of this frame. Then move to the second video for the week - What is Housing Justice? Finish Quiz 2 after you hear the lecture. Then, spend some time on the discussion forum to debate these approaches to thinking about housing justice. Think about your own approach to these issues, as well as the frameworks we have offered you. There can be no one understanding of housing justice, so this is the week to debate and discuss!
  • Adequate Housing
    • This module offers a framework to think about just, or good, housing. Such housing must be affordable, adequate, and viable. We describe what these words mean, and then offer case studies from across the world on attempts to make housing affordable, adequate and viable. The Module is structured a bit differently this week. Hear the video (What makes housing inadequate?) first. It will describe the logics of the case studies we have presented in our Interactive Dashboard. Then head over to the dashboard, and click on the highlighted countries to download case studies of housing programmes, practices, and policies from all over the world. Finally, take the quick Quiz 3 to consolidate your learnings.
  • Rental Housing
    • Ownership is not necessarily the only path to resolving housing inequity. This module will introduce you to rental housing and other tenure systems, while elaborating on the well-known and lesser-known aspects of the rental housing market and how it is supposed to aid in the delivery of housing justice. Watch the videos on Rental Housing with respect to its three core stakeholders: the tenants, landlords and the city. Then spend some time crystallising your understanding of these systems and relating them with your own experiences and environments through the discussion thread. Finally, take the graded quiz 4 to consolidate your learning from this module.
  • Collective Action
    • There can be no talk of housing justice without organising and struggle. This module reminds us that modes of change towards housing justice are never just technical solutions or changes in policy but as much the coming together of people and movements to fight inequalities. We have a video heavy week this time to hear from activists and organisers themselves as part of our faculty. Start from the Introduction video that introduces the activists. Then move on to each of the four. Reflect on these first-person accounts from organisers who have collectivised and organised to address the question of housing justice for themselves and others in the absence of support from other stakeholders in the housing ecosystem. What can we learn from their practices about ways to organise for housing justice in our own cities?
  • Modes of Action
    • In the first four modules, we have discussed housing justice and various ways to address it from different lenses. This module, with an emphasis on the public sector and other stakeholders, will provide an overview on the modes of action across laws, policies, programmes and projects to understand where we can intervene and start working on housing justice. Watch the videos to gain an overview of the scale of action required to solving the housing justice question and how the approach can be broken down in terms of law, policies, programmes and projects. Watch the three lectures on the different scales and modes of action and build on the themes through participation in the discussion forum. The final graded quiz rounds off your course.
  • Bringing It All Together
    • This is the final module of the course. This module comprises of a final assignment through which you can demonstrate your understanding of the various frameworks, concepts and constructs on housing, your analyses of housing justice relative to your own experiences and the broad landscape encompassing different stakeholders. Through this assignment, you will integrate your composite learning from the course and try to form a cogent narrative that outlines your views and ideas on housing justice and possibly access a gateway to further build on your learning from the course. The assignment will be peer-graded, which means you will get to review and grade your fellow learners and vice versa. This will also provide an opportunity for you to explore different themes and perspectives emanating from the global learner audience and to exchange and collaborate with each other.

Taught by

Gautam Bhan

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