Financialisation of Built Environments: A Literature Review

Research output: Working paper


This paper provides a review of research into financialisation of built environments, especially in relation to urban politics, social geographies and sustainability. Focus is limited here to the theoretical and conceptual substance of selected literature. Financialisation is conceptualised as a profoundly spatial process, forging social relations that form conditions for urban governance, social geographic change and urban sustainability. The paper frames financialisation of built environments as a process enmeshed with related processes of commodification, privatisation, neoliberalisation, and accumulation by dispossession, associated with the creation and appropriation of rent gaps. Land rent and rent gaps are highlighted as central to understanding financialisation of built environments. We then review research into relations between financialisation of built environments and urban governance, i.e. how financialisation impacts upon, while being facilitated or deterred by, urban politics. This sets the stage for reviewing research into relations between financialisation of built environments and observed patterns of change in the social geographies of cities, and research into the sustainability implications of financialisation of built environments. Conclusions reconsider the nature of the relationship between financialisation and urbanisation, and the challenges of bringing financial systems into the service of achieving social and natural sustainability.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Human Geography


  • financialisation, built environment, urban governance, land rent, sustainability
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages56
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Sep 1
Publication categoryResearch

Publication series

NameFESSUD Working Paper Series
ISSN (Electronic)2052-8035

Bibliographic note

EU FP7 Research Programme Financialisation, Economy, Society and Sustainable Development (FESSUD)

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Lund Hansen, A. (Speaker)
2012 May 22

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