Broken Cities Inside the Global Housing Crisis

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


From Britain’s ‘Generation Rent’ to Hong Kong’s notorious ‘cage homes’, societies around the world are facing a housing crisis of unprecedented proportions. The social consequences have been profound, with a lack of affordable housing resulting in overcrowding, homelessness, broken families and, in many countries, a sharp decline in fertility.

In Broken Cities, Deborah Potts offers a provocative new perspective on the global housing crisis arguing that the problem lies mainly with demand rather than supply. Potts shows how market-set rates of pay and incomes for vast numbers of households in the world’s largest cities in the global South and North are simply too low to rent or buy any housing that is legal, planned and decent. As the influence of free market economics has increased, the situation has worsened. Potts argues that the crisis needs radical solutions.

With the world becoming increasingly urbanized, this book provides a timely and urgent account of one of the most pressing social challenges of the 21st century. Exploring the effects of the housing crisis across the global North and South, Broken Cities is a warning of the greater crises to come if these issues are not addressed.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon and Chicago
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
Number of pages319
ISBN (Electronic)9781786990570, 9781786990563
ISBN (Print)9781786990556, 9781786990549
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2020


  • Low-income housing
  • Housing
  • Affordable housing
  • Global cities
  • Urban incomes
  • Urban employment
  • London
  • Urban demography
  • Financialization


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