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Kamma Winther Kestner, MA, University of Amsterdam.

Hidden informality in housing in two cities in the Global North

My background is mixed as I have a Humanistic BA from Roskilde University in cultural studies and urban planning, but for the Master’s I went hardcore social science as I am completing the Research Master of Urban Studies at University of Amsterdam. I have lived in Copenhagen most of my life, but moved to Amsterdam two years ago, where I am planning to stay until new opportunities arise. As part of my thesis, I spent five months in Hong Kong, conducting fieldwork and studying at Hong Kong University.

In my thesis, I compare the emergence of informal housing arrangements in Hong Kong and Amsterdam, Netherlands, in order to study how living informally can be seen as a tactic (DeCerteau, 1984) to live close to urban opportunities even in less affordable housing markets. I analyse existent policies, policy evaluations, government reports and media articles in order to engage in a discussion on the power relations reproduced and embedded in the definition of informality – on the level of institutions, academia and from a residential point of view. With this study, I hope to deepen the understanding of the emergence of informal housing in cities of the Global North. And how policy makers can be inspired rather than frustrated by the way people find housing in alternative ways in order to amend or make new policies in the housing field.


Yang Yang, PhD, Wuhan University.


“Can ‘One-Language-Two-Scripts’ be a Viable Future Solution in China: From Comparative Perspective of Norwegian Experience”.

I am a Ph.D. researcher at Wuhan University, China, and a lecturer at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen. I was also a guest researcher at the University of Bergen, Norway from 2015 to 2018. My research interests are language planning and policies, and language education.

My current research is a multidimensional analysis and comparison of the written language planning and policies in China and Norway from socio-political-historical perspectives. China and Norway, although linguistically and socio-politically far apart from each other, face the very similar dilemmas when it comes to written language practice. This study attempts to uncover the socio-political-historical factors that lead to the difference of written language policies in the two countries.