Transformations of Public Urban Spaces after 1989 – Agents, Practices and Strategies
Marburg, 3-4 March 2015
Venue: Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe – Institute of the Leibniz Association, Vortragssaal,
Gisonenweg 5-7, 35037 Marburg
On 26 April 2011, the Budapest city council had accepted the changes proposed by Mayor István Tarlós about the renaming of 256 squares and streets. This was the third great wave of renaming since 1989. A similar use of the public space can be observed in other former socialist capitals as well. The various changes and processes can be registered in dealing with the urban public space: There are on the one hand, new forms of urban interventions, thanks to the internet (such as flash mobs, critical mass, graffiti, etc.) which, cross-linked with civil society activities, often point to new claims of various agents on urban public space.
On the other hand, the control of urban public space became centralized and often derived from former socialist „trained“ understanding of public space.
In this context, the workshop discusses the following questions: How does the understanding of urban public space developed in the post-socialist cities? Is the urban public space in post-socialist cities equated with that understanding of public, which exists in Western European cities? How did the urban public space of the socialist cities since 1989 change? At what level and in what forms and formats can the process of transformation of the former socialist countries be held and captured in the urban public space? Are there similarities in the transformation processes?