New York City, US

Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities is a 14 month long project commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City. For this exhibition, Cohabitation Strategies is addressing  the ongoing uneven development across New York City’s boroughs by designing a radically new affordable housing program (Cooperative Housing Trusts) and by exposing— through local narratives— the economic, social and spatial inequalities mirrored in the unprecedented housing crisis. The narratives describe the experiences of local advocates for housing justice —citizens, activists, artists, writers, community organizers, academics and urban experts. They reveal the other New York City by exposing some of the agents and outcomes of illegal conversions, homelessness, foreclosures, land values, vacancies and re-zoned inner city areas.

Besides depicting dramatic inequalities, the narratives provide potential instruments already taking place in the city to counteract the biggest housing crisis in the modern history of New York City. Some of these approaches were incorporated into the actionable permanent-affordable housing program we designed. A series of local and international workshops with participants engaged in housing and urban activism were organized to envision and discuss such tactics: Workshop 01/Workshop 02.

Cooperative Housing Trusts

A Hybrid Tenure Model for NYC

The proposed initiative aims to provide permanent affordable housing for very low, low and moderate-income households through the development of a hybrid tenure framework. Unlike currently available affordable-housing options, this model is not fully owned and managed by a public or a nonprofit entity, nor by a cooperative housing corporation. This housing model is planned, financed, developed, managed and owned collectively by all of these entities alongside community stakeholders and residents. The co-ownership is one of its key features. Since housing cooperatives –particularly limited and non-equity cooperatives– face financial difficulties when constructing and expanding new housing, this model proposes the development of cooperative housing sponsored by the public sector and co-managed by public representatives, community and cooperative members.
Public shares may start as high as 90% and decrease over a period of thirty years to 10%. The share granting ownership, management and control over the cooperative reverts from public to collective once the development is fully paid and cooperative members have built the required skills to operate the maintenance and financing of the property. This housing model combines some of the organizational and legal frameworks of  cooperative housing corporations, mutual-housing associations, community-land trusts and co-housing developments, as well as some of the instruments of the tenant and community-led housing programmes that have created and preserved communities in NYC. The proposed hybrid tenure model is comprised of a four-fold structure: a Community District Land Trust, a Mutual Housing Association, a District Housing Credit Union and one or more Cooperative Housing Trusts.

Cooperative Housing Trusts from Cohabitation Strategies on Vimeo.



Uneven Growth NYC short documentary

Please contact us if you are interested in a HD version for private non-commercial screening







Co-founders: Lucia Babina, Emiliano Gandolfi, Gabriela Rendón, Miguel Robles-Durán

Project team members: Rajesh Bhavnani, Heidi Chisholm, Raquel de Anda, Guillermo Delgado, Santiago Giraldo, Juan Junca, Jonathan Lapalme, Phillip Lühl, and Juan Pablo Pemberty.

Project Advisors: David Harvey and Tom Angotti.



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