Dr Orna Rosenfeld

Senior Housing Expert
UNECE (Switzerland) & Sciences Po (France)

Orna Rosenfeld is the Housing Expert and Adviser serving the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (Switzerland) and the European Commission (Belgium). She is also currently lecturing at Sciences Po – Paris Institute of Political Studies (France).

Over the past 20 years she has designed, advised and researched housing sector internationally providing research and counsel  for advancement of social and affordable housing policies, including housing finance, urban and city development, housing migrants and housing market renewal, in the United Kingdom, Spain, Serbia, Israel, France, the USA and work in support of 56 Member States at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) in Switzerland. She is the author of the UNECE flagship study ‘Social Housing in the UNECE region: models, trends and challenges’ and a co-author of the UNECE global regional report to Habitat III.

Architect by training, Dr. Rosenfeld has designed and helped delivery of over 6000 affordable homes before committing herself to international housing policy research and counsel. She has extensive experience in leading, designing and contributing to international comparative policy analysis in Europe and the UNECE region.

Dr. Rosenfeld has presented at over 60 conferences in Europe, North America and the Middle East in including at the United Nations, European Commission, Capitol Hill; The World Bank, CEB and EBRD; La Sorbonne (France) and Cambridge (UK) universities. She is a member of international expert groups contributing housing efforts at the OECD, the World Bank and ELTI among others. In these forums, she promotes practice informed cutting edge research for advancement of the housing sector.  In 2014, Dr. Rosenfeld was awarded a title of World Cities Summit Young Leader in Singapore.

Title: Price of Liveability: Housing cost and Affordability in the Global North

The quest for liveability is currently a key urban issue across the world. Housing is the key city infrastructure. It is the bedrock upon which to build healthy lives, strong and resilient cities and thriving economies. This presentation shares the results of United Nations study on current trends and challenges in the housing sector in 56 countries of the UNECE region (North America, European Union, Eastern Europe and Central Asia). It highlights that the lack of access to affordable housing is one of the core urban challenges the global north is facing today.

Over 100 million low- and middle-income people in the UNECE region are housing cost overburdened; they spend more than 40 per cent of their disposable income on housing. Housing affordability is a critical matter. In market driven housing sectors, it determines access to cities.

At this important juncture, this presentation argues for closer examination of the structure and dynamics of the local housing markets in liveability discourse and highlights the recent innovative initiatives in social and affordable housing provision. The aim is to provide information in support of discussion about opportunities as well as barriers to providing affordable housing at city level, and enhancing planning and design of liveable cities in the Global North.