Bridging home ownership gap between citizens

Palak Dudani

In changing urban spaces, what represents the status quo? Who gets to decide the direction of change and what are the invisible forces influencing the rights of the urban citizen to their city?

The project starts with looking at instances and lived experiences of change in Oslo City, later exploring the phenomenon of gentrification as a practical example of urban change. Using a systemic approach, the project uncovers embedded biases. Norwegian policies are egalitarian and accommodating; however, the systemic forces seem to contribute to increasing advantage for one group while exacerbating the existing disadvantage for another. While working-class displacement seems like a short term effect, long term impact suggests a poverty trap across racial lines. Using leverage point analysis, the project identifies an intervention area and imagines desirable scenarios. Suggesting local bodies as stakeholders, the project proposes a lottery service with a twist – by making it exclusive for and giving advantage to a historically excluded and disadvantaged citizen group.

This is a discursive project which uses a systemic approach to analyse and propose a feasible service concept with a flipped status quo. In the long term, the ‘service concept’ seeks to reduce the negative systemic effects and reinforce the egalitarian Norwegian domestic culture through improved living conditions. At the same time, in an everyday timescale, it also exists as a means to create conditions for debate and discussions among citizens for whom the systemic urban inequalities may not be very evident. To “design” is a political act and the project contributes to the ongoing conversation around democracy by also inviting designers to investigate the inherent power dynamics present in systems, to acknowledge the custodians of the status quo as part of their design work and reflect on their role as change agents in today’s day and age.

– 2018