Use our data – investigate housing in your own town

Everyone needs a home, and high demand for rental flats across European  cities has contributed to make housing a very attractive investment. The total investment into residential real estate in Europe increased more than 700 per cent between 2009 and 2020, from 7.9 to 66.9 billion euros, according to data by Real Capital Analytics.

Where is all that money coming from? Who are the companies and investors buying so much housing across Europe? How many homes do corporate landlords own, buy and sell in our cities? How does this phenomenon affect people’s lives and homes around Europe?

To answer those questions, Arena for Journalism in Europe has since October 2020 hosted and coordinated Cities for Rent: Investigating Corporate Landlords Across Europe, a collaborative investigation initially involving journalists and media partners across 16 European countries.

More than 60 stories have so far come out of the investigation and been published by 14 media outlets – but the job is not done.

We are now launching a new website where we share our methodology and approach to data visualisation, and we also make available a data catalogue including all the datasets we have been working with, including those we had to build ourselves from scratch.

Our aim is to help more journalists, and also academic and other researchers, to carry out similar investigations and find relevant data focusing on more cities and on particular corporate landlords.

If we can get more data and make them available, the new Cities for Rent website could become a collaborative research hub for journalists and other investigators.

Because we believe in transparency and in honest collaboration, we also describe the limitations of our methodology and the challenges we have faced to get meaningful and comparable data about different cities.

By explaining our methodology and the difficulties, we believe the Cities for Rent website may also be a useful resource to teach data and collaborative journalism.

If you have any questions or comments, or if you want to carry out a similar investigation or contribute data about this topic, please get in touch with us.

See the intro video for the “Cities for Rent” project


Free training on climate and environment data and OSINT

(Photo: Mika Baumeister)

Call for applications: ‘Learning by doing’ training followed by an investigation into climate

Are you interested in topics such as climate change, energy supply or environmental wrongdoing? Have you already done some investigative work, but would like to upgrade your investigative and/or data skills? If the answer to both questions is ‘yes’, the training offered by Arena for Journalism in Europe, supported by the European Climate Foundation, might just be for you.

Over the course of six weeks, the participants will gain hands-on knowledge in how to set up and organise a cross-border investigation and research, where to look for data and how to work with it, gain OSINT skills (applied to environmental reporting) as will be able to attend topical sessions relevant to the climate issues we’ll explore. Continue reading “Free training on climate and environment data and OSINT”

New resources on the way in The Arena Climate Network

Following Dataharvest Digital 2020, during which we dedicated two weeks to topics related to climate and energy, we launched the Arena Climate Network  – a community of investigative journalists and researchers covering climate change.

The Arena Climate Network aims to facilitate information flows between journalists (interested in) covering climate at the local, national and EU level, and give them an online space to share knowledge, opinions and data.

The network is comprised of several elements that cater to different needs of journalists and researchers:

An online meeting point for journalists/researchers/academics, a forum set up via the forum tool Discourse. It is a place you can share your work, relevant research, and important databases; get in touch with your peers, ask for help or find partners for your next cross-border investigation. There are several subtopics you can follow or engage in; you can also decide to mute the others you’re not interested in (and declutter your inbox a little).

We’ll soon add a feature that will allow you to search the users based on their skills and location (self-disclosed – don’t worry, we don’t gather any personal data!), which might come in handy if you’re looking to form a cross-border team or connect with a colleague in a specific country.

Sign in, take a look and join the conversation here:

Coming next:

The Climate Knowledge Base: an open-access library that is easily searchable and contains a list of “must-reads” for everyone researching/covering climate.

Secure leak infrastructure: Arena for Journalism in Europe is a recipient of the Digital Whistleblowing Fund grant, supporting grassroots organisations to integrate a secure leak infrastructure to their online platforms. This means that we will be able to confidentially and anonymously receive leaks and confidential documents via the Network. We are now finalising the tech side of the project, and the platform should be up and running by the end of February!

If you have any questions, doubts or ideas, you can get in touch with Jelena, the Network coordinator ( And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter  (@Arena__Climate)!