This recent collection of reports on the housing crisis in European metropolises, published by Czech magazine A2 with the support of the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung’s Prague Office under the joint title “Housing Over Gold”, was created as an analytical response to the current housing crisis in Prague. Czech journalists travelled to seven major European cities—Prague, Bratislava, Warsaw, Budapest, Vienna, Barcelona, and Berlin—to talk to politicians, activists, and experts.
The organisation A2 was founded on the initiative of young journalists in the Czech Republic. It publishes the bi-monthly cultural magazine A2 and runs the web portal www.a2larm.cz. The magazine A2 is an important medium dedicated to literature, art, and social issues in a left-oriented political context. The online daily A2larm publishes interviews, reports, analyses, and commentaries on current political, social, and cultural events in the Czech Republic and abroad.
In recent times, large cities have become prime venues for big investors, as real estate markets offer a refuge in uncertain times for those seeking to protect their assets from inflation. Flats are built and sold as financial investments that only a few can afford. In the process, the original purpose of the flats—providing housing for the city’s residents—is often lost.
A major challenge facing European societies is how to further development our big cities: how can life be shaped there, how can friendly places be created that invite people to work and live? This broader question nevertheless includes how to deal with tourism, with public transport, and with new ecological technologies.
The texts, which were written in protest against the hypocrisy of the big markets, nevertheless offer an optimistic perspective: housing is a human right, we will always know better how to enforce this basic right in the times to come.