Place attachment and renovation in socialist housing estates of Prague and Bishkek
Socialist housing estates remain one of the controversial topics among urban researchers on the socialist architectural legacy. Despite the fact that they were built in many cities across the world, the major share of construction was carried out in socialist and soviet cities due to the socialist planning of new cities and re-planning of existing. A great deal of attention from academia is mainly focused on the physical aspects of the housing units comprising housing estates. Researchers make attempts to explore the materialization of socialist ideals and planning economy in the form of housing and pinpoint socio-economic changes that took place during the post-socialist period. Furthermore, the existing research on residents’ place attachment is done separately from addressing its’ connection and influence on renovation initiatives in socialist housing estates. A more integral and comprehensive research that would look into the interconnection between place attachment and renovation initiatives in the context of socialist housing estates is missing. An international comparison between Prague and Bishkek will allow deeper research and analysis of the post-socialist and post-soviet urban landscape and would demonstrate another perspective on socialist housing. Taking into account historical-cultural contexts of post-soviet Bishkek and post-socialist Prague the project intends to shed the light on prerequisites for a different perception of residents of these two cities towards socialist housing estates and their renovation which is solved differently due to the national and state context of cities. Therefore, this project is aiming at filling the existing gap by investigating residents’ place attachment towards socialist housing estates and address the challenge of its’ interconnection with renovation policies. The project uses a comparative research approach and mostly qualitative methods (in-depth interviews, spatial navigation methods and quantitative analysis of population and housing stock statistics).
The main aim of the project is to investigate the formation of residents’ place attachment towards socialist housing estates in two different cultural, social, and historical landscapes of Prague and Bishkek and to address the challenge of its’ interconnection with regeneration and renovation policies which are determined by the historical, social and cultural contexts of two cities as well. In particular, we intend to look at how residents’ place attachment manifests itself in different renovation efforts in two cities. Such a comparative research will uncover the differences in residents’ attitudes towards socialist housing that may be predetermined by historical-cultural particularities of each city.
The results of the research will be presented at conferences and published as articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals with impact factors. The planned papers will answer two main research questions and will cover the following topics:
- Differences in place attachment among socialist housing estates residents in the context of Prague and Bishkek.
- The interconnection between the place attachment towards socialist housing estates and processes of revitalization and renovation: a comparative perspective.
The results will be presented at international conferences each year.