Publication details

Looking for resilience in socialist urban planning : three multifaceted cases from Czechoslovakia (1966-1990)

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Year of publication 2018
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Description The period between 2nd half of the 1960s and the end of the 1980s is remarkable in the history of urban and regional planning in the socialist Czechoslovakia. The climax of the liberal 1960s in 1968 and the following period of so-called Normalization were a difficult time for urban and regional planning. On the one hand, the centralist regime allowed planners to plan and implement projects that were almost unthinkable in the democratic regime. On the other hand, pressures of government, economic planning and also the lobbying of construction companies made it impossible to implement quality projects and could not produce satisfactory results. Nevertheless, in the history of Czechoslovak planning there are several notable projects (realized or unrealized), which are very interesting for the current international audience. These projects portray modernity in one of the most visible roles – in urban and regional planning. In the paper I introduce three case studies of projects, situated around the capital city of Prague, which were intended as a complex plans of the environment. An important part of all the projects was the declaration of protection and creation of new natural and built environment. The first of these case studies is the project of “ecological city of Etarea”. Etarea was one the largest projects (for 135.000 inhabitants) and promote the resilience-oriented system approach in the 2nd half of the 1960s. It has never been implemented thanks to (among others) change of the regime at the end of the 1960s. Two other examples are so-called “Jižní Město” (South City) for approx. 95.000 inhabitants and “Jihozápadní Město” (Southwest City) for approx. 81.000 inhabitants. They represent implemented projects of new urban areas in Prague. Each of these projects is very specific in the final realization, implementation of the project ideas, attitude to the natural environment and also in today assessment. On these examples I observe the conflicting heritage of natural and cultural, old and new, then and now. The paper is based on the research of period documents (especially professional journals, books, news reports, urban projects and land-use planning documentation), oral history interviews and field research.
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