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By on June 17, 2017


Name of university

University Rovira i Virgili

UNESCO Chair on Housing

Avda. Catalunya, 35
43002, Tarragona (Spain)


Official Focal Point
UNESCO Chair on Housing

Alternate Focal Point
Department of Private Law

Authority approving the partnership
Dr. Jordi Tous, Vice-Chancellor for University and Society




The Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV) is a public university created in 1991 by the Parliament of Catalonia. Thanks to its commitment to continuous training and the excellence of its research, development and innovation it has succeeded to become the world’s 83rd best University under 50 years of age and among the 500 best universities according to Times Higher Education 2016 and the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2016 (Shanghai Ranking). It ranks 4th in Spain in research output. In the last 3 years (2014-2016) URV has been granted 48 projects. It teaches 15,000 students spread among 47 undergraduate degrees and 49 master’s degrees.

In 2013, during the 25th ENHR international conference, the University decided to establish the first international and interdisciplinary Institute devoted to housing studies, research, lecturing and transfer of knowledge in Spain, called “Housing Chair”. In 2016, UNESCO acknowledged it as the first and single UNESCO Chair of Housing in the world. It gathers together researchers that have been dealing with housing during the last 20 years.

Since July 2013, the Chair members have published 72 research works in 9 countries and have delivered 173 speeches in 25 more. The Chair has been also invited to draft five pieces of legislation for the Spanish and the Catalan Governments on affordable housing, housing tenures and mortgage consumers’ protection, while has been a team member with co-ordination and research duties of 3 EU-funded projects (EU Parliament and EU Commission). It has organized 11 workshops for housing professionals and policymakers in 2015 and 2016. In addition, the Chair is currently working at nine national-funded research projects and has successfully finished other four. The UNESCO Chair of Housing has the explicit support of ten private and public housing stakeholder. It runs two postgraduate courses on mediation and on real estate agents.

Suggested Collaboration Opportunities
From our perspective, there is a need for UN to implement into legislation, policies and other really effective actions what was passed in Habitat III Quito in October 2016. We have the know-how to transfer research into legislation an policies. That is, UN Habitat should be seeking to have a real impact of the New Urban Agenda into supra-national entities, countries, regions and cities.

We are able to reproduce this know-how on research in the goals and actions related to housing in the Urban Agenda of Habitat III 2016 at a supra-national, national, regional and local levels. In particular paragraphs 11, 12, 13, 14, 28, 31 to 35, 40, 46, 57, 95, 98, 105, among others. We are used to gather the needed sources (legislation, policies, meta-legal, etc.) to understand a reality (ie. a problem related to housing) and to make an alternative policy and legislation offer that can be discussed with policymakers and legislators, after discussing it with the involved parties (NGOs, households in need, stakeholders involved, etc.).

Areas of Expertise related to UN-Habitat
  • Legislation
  • Land
  • Housing
Related UNI Thematic Hubs

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