The Rovira i Virgili University (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 76rd best University under 50 years of age in 2019 and it is in the top 501-600 universities in the world according to the Times Higher Education and Shanghai rankings. The URV is the 7th highest ranked university out of the 45 Spanish universities that make the list.
The UNESCO Housing Chair of was created by the University’s Governing Council on the 11th of July 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”.
It is the result of the research and projects on housing that the legal area of the Rovira i Virgili University had been working on since 1996 and which were backed by the Research Group on Access to Housing. 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.
The UNESCO URV Housing Chair develops mainly four tasks: research, lecturing, transfer of knowledge and the achievement of social impact.
In relation to research, the lines developed by the Chair, through the Housing Research Group (HRG), cover all issues related to housing from an interdisciplinary and international point of view.
The Chair’ lines of research are funded with national and international level research projects. Housing is, in fact, the only good that is both an important financial asset and a human right. Therefore, we organize our research in four pillars: housing as a human right, access to housing, management and organization of housing and housing as a financial asset. In terms of lecturing, the Chair guarantees a specialized lecturing, based on research, and aimed both at professionals in the real estate market and housing, as well as civil servants and policy makers as well as citizens in general. It has a wide experience on specialized housing training.
Researchers of the UNESCO Chair are constantly present in the media to disseminate the results of their research topics, which cover many fields of housing, such as housing access, housing tenures, housing as a fundamental right, management of social housing, real estate agents and tenancies.