New post-socialist city: Competitive and Attractiv.. (ReNewTown)
New post-socialist city: Competitive and Attractive
Date du début: 31 mars 2011,
Date de fin: 30 mars 2014
Over 300 million people in Central and East Europe live in areas affected by socialist era. Close to 2/3 of them live in cities and towns often with districts which were created and quickly developed in this period. Whoever has travelled through countries of Former Eastern Europe bloc would agree that very often grim looking buildings make out landscape of almost every city. These remains of communist era unlike uniforms or era slogans cannot be so easily erased or replaced and are often reminders of the time that has passed. These districts are often associated with poor conditions and quality of buildings and public spaces, shortage of space and lack of local cultural and social events. Their unattractiveness contributes to higher unemployment and low number of enterprises in the area. Not to mention that grey and reckless buildings only accentuate the depressiveness.The ReNewTown project aims to reduce these disparities by enhancing the quality in urban areas in districts with socialist burden by creating more balanced territorial development within towns and cities in the Former Eastern Europe Bloc and by reducing disparities between the districts within the cities. Achievements: The last twenty years of political, social and economic development, has brought in general substantial modernization and improvements of living conditions in urban areas. Some cities however, particularly the industrial ones remain in the stagnant or crisis situation, with very limited assets for improvement. The ReNewTown project New post-socialist city: Competitive and Attractive aims at providing a comprehensive answer to the following question: What to do with the post-socialist cities in Central and Eastern Europe?. Some pieces of the puzzle were provided by the four ReNewTown project investments: in Krakow (Nowa Huta district) in Poland, Prague (Jižní Městodistrict) in the Czech Republic, Velenje in Slovenia, and Hnúšťa in Slovakia. They serve as model solutions for typical problems of districts with the socialist burden. In case of Nowa Huta in Krakow, the implementation of ArtZONA by the C.K. Norwid Centre is a response to the shortage of space for, and lack of cultural and social events. In Velenje, the municipality renovated public space by engaging citizens in voluntary action as a solution for poor conditions and deteriorated quality of public space between the socialist blocks of flats. In Jižní Město in Prague, the Centre for SMEs opened by Prague 11 district is a battle cry against high unemployment and low number of enterprises, and in Hnúšťa the Museum of Socialist Curiosities created by the Agency for Development of the Gemer Region is a solution proposal for the revitalization of an abandoned public building created in the socialist era. Preliminary research in 2011 was based on surveys (of local population, entrepreneurs, and experts) conducted in 5 countries that involved 458 people from Nowa Huta (Kraków) & Ursynów (Warsaw) in Poland, Cottbus & Karlsruhe in Germany, Chomutov &Usti nad Labem in Czech Republic, Hnusta & Rimavska Sobota in Slovakia, Nova Gorica & Velenje in Slovenia. Based on the outcomes, the market research and good practice reports were elaborated. It led to the creation of 3 comprehensive databases showcasing 150 examples of revitalization ideas and completed investments in Central and Eastern Europe (available online at www.renewtown.eu). ReNewTown project identified several model approaches which focus on reduction of disparities in improved quality of post-socialist urban environment (not only by positive transformation of residential landscapes but also by improved quality and accessibility of public spaces, increased provision of cultural and social events, increased support of entrepreneurial initiatives, etc.). Each model approach is put into the relevant theoretical framework and illustrated with a comprehensively evaluated example of how the model was put to life in practice. Valuable lessons learned are provided for those wishing to implement a similar project in their local community.
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