Sascha Delz, “Co-op Urbanism – A Co-operative Response to Common Myths of Housing Production”

A walkway leads to a building complex with many windows and some trees in a plaza.

Housing Co-operative Kalkbreite, Zurich / © Sascha Delz

A recording of this event is available with audio description.

Event Description

This talk is an affirmative call for counteracting pervasive myths of housing provision and urban production through (limited equity) co-operative practice. It argues that many reasons for our chronic inability to provide affordable and adequate housing and urban environments derive from rather exclusionary forms of ownership, limited frameworks of private and public actors, setups of collaboration, constrained ways of fostering innovation, and a restrictive understanding of housing – and the city for that matter – as a financial resource. Based on recent research and examples of (limited equity) co-operative practices from all around the globe, the lecture makes the case that the co-operative model has a vast potential for not only questioning and rethinking existing setups, but also ultimately providing alternative, more inclusive, and innovative solutions for housing delivery and urban development.


Black and white headshot of Sascha Delz.Sascha Delz is an architect and researcher working at the intersection of architecture, urban design, and urban studies. Engaging with contemporary urbanization processes, his research focuses on how specific political-economic frameworks influence the manifestation of architecture, urban form and living environments. Addressing challenges of uneven development, asymmetric cooperation setups, and exclusive distribution of urban resources, he aims at advancing knowledge on more equitable and collaborative practices of urban production in general, and on non-profit models of adequate and affordable housing in particular. 

As an assistant professor at the University of Southern California, Sascha focuses on collective and co-operative models for urban housing, infrastructure, and services that can potentially create more inclusive and sustainable urban environments. He holds a master’s degree in Architecture and a Doctor of Science from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich). He is the co-editor and co-author of the 2020 publication Housing the Co-op – A Micropolitical Manifesto (Ruby Press). 


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