Alex Schafran

Alex Schafran

Over the past two decades, my writing has focused on housing, racial (re)segregation, and the broader politics of urbanization. Rooted in California, my work ranges from historical analysis of vexing problems to new ways of thinking about economics and housing policy. You can get in touch with me at schafran[at]

My books

Chronicling more than a half century of Northern California history, The Road to Resegregation is the first book to examine the region’s housing crisis comprehensively. Learn More

Housing. Water. Energy. Transport. Food. Education. Health care. The spatial contract is about ensuring these systems are built, maintained and available to all who need them, in big cities and small towns all around the world. Learn More

The Spatial Contract at SJSU: Video + Text

I’m excited to announce the first proper talk about my 2020 book, The Spatial Contract, on Thursday, November 18th at 12:30 Pacific. This will be an online event hosted by the Institute for Metropolitan Studies (IMS) at San Jose State, where I am honored to be a Visiting Scholar.

The Road to Resegregation on KQED’s Forum

I was honored to spend an hour talking with Michael Krasny about my 2019 book, The Road to Resegregation. Listen to our conversation on KQED’s Forum.

Cities of Carquinez

It can be lonely work advocating for eastern Contra Costa and southern Solano county to be included in the Bay Area’s imagination of itself. SPUR was kind enough to give me the lion’s share of an issue of the Urbanist in 2012 to make this case. There are three articles, including one by the great … Continue reading Cities of Carquinez

Is urbanization an economic sector?

One of my most ambitious academic articles is a 2018 piece in the journal Regional Studies. I’d long been frustrated with the way in which economics and economic theory deals with urbanization. The making and remaking of human settlements – building and maintaining them, providing them with food and water and energy, all the things … Continue reading Is urbanization an economic sector?

Housing Vulnerability Analysis

Evictions. Foreclosures. Disasters. Rising taxes. Rising insurance costs. Unsafe conditions. Overcrowding. Sadly, there are many different ways in which people can lose their homes. In recent years, I have led a collaborative project with housing activists and academics which aims to develop a new means of assessing housing vulnerability, which can vary greatly from jurisdiction to … Continue reading Housing Vulnerability Analysis

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