OCT 09 / 13.00 pm – 15.00 pm / BME K210


Dr. Árpád SZABÓ DLA / Budapest, H
BME Department of Urban Planning and Design / CZSZ studio

Dr. habil. Maciej LASOCKI PhD / Warsaw, Pl
WUT Chair of Urban Design and Country Landscape / WUT studies in English

Dr. Dániel KISS PhD / Zurich & Basel, Ch
ETHZ Network City Landscape / XM Architekten



How Resilient Can Cities Really Be?

Our exposure to the new coronavirus reminds us how fragile the normality of everyday urban life can be in states of crisis. Cities and their subsystems—such as their infrastructures, public spaces, and housing—are increasingly becoming subject to systemic disturbances. Be these induced by disease outbreaks, global warming, economic emergencies, or socio-political tensions, an important question to ask remains, how urban systems perform in weathering these disruptions.

With response to the current pandemic, the hosts of this panel suggest inquiries into the post-socialist city’s resilience, with particular regard to its public spaces’ ability to accommodate and continue to function in the face of disruptions. We do so keeping in mind that the very genesis of post-socialist urbanization is also associated with an elemental shock, namely with the shift from party-state systems to market economies.

Within this context, we would especially like to focus on the consequences of Eastern European and post-Soviet urban renewal practices of the past decades. We are interested in the diversity, vitality, adaptability, and appropriability of the resulting urban spaces and, thus, how different redevelopment models determine the future resilience of cities.

This panel invites papers in one of the following themes:
– regional and global contextualization of post-socialist urban transformation;
– investigation of socialist and post-socialist models of urban renewal;
– East-West comparisons concerning renewal practices;
– studies into the resilience of cities and their subsystems (e.g. public space, housing, public and commercial services);
– foresights of post-pandemic urban recovery investigated in the context of urban resilience.

We welcome all kinds of methodological approaches, ranging from historiographies, single case studies, and comparative analyses, to project-based theses, participatory observations, field researches, and all other qualitative and quantitative methods.



Bence BENE / Budapest H
SPACE SYNTAX & OCOKA – Possibilities of Using Geospatial Technology for Military Analysis on Urban Terrain

A city has to withstand several different negative impacts, be it a natural (e.g. global warming), social (e.g. unemployment), or a sudden disaster. Wars can be considered the worst catastrophe of civilization. Security policy experts say there will be more and more Military Operations on Urban Terrains (MOUT) in the future due to ongoing urbanization in the world. Urban terrain requires new ways of warfare from the military to end the conflict with as few civilian casualties as possible. The extent and success of adaptation are crucial in the face of such a conflict – both for authority but even more so for the inhabitants. This research would help in this adaptation process: The spatiality of three different mass housing areas is examined in Budapest to answer the question: Could urban space analysis help for the military terrain analysis? A historic neighbourhood (in District 13th), comparing the development of a state socialist mass housing estate (József Attila housing estate) and a contemporary residential area (BudaPart). Although Budapest is not expected to face uprisings, violent conflicts have erupted in several post-socialist cities in recent decades.


Dominika GRABOWSKA-ROPEK & Maria JANKOWSKA / Warsaw Pl
Post-Pandemic Urban Planning Rules – Future Predictions

The pandemic situation has strongly affected urban life in almost every aspect. This presentation is an attempt to answer the question “which current predictions on the functioning of post-pandemic cities are the most probable”. Will the rapid changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic be of a lasting nature? The conducted own study was the basis for analysis of the needs of the average inhabitant of Polish cities in relation to experiencing an everyday pandemic. The questions concerned the availability of services, the methods of communication applied, the functionality of the place of residence, work, recreation, sense of security and social relations. Various elements of everyday life have been transferred to virtual space. It is very likely that they will remain there even after the pandemic ends. We have also started to perceive many services in a new light. What will the epidemic experience teach us, and how will it influence future spatial policy decisions taken after it subsides? Will it be feasible to reconcile the original drive to integrate and strengthen interpersonal relations with the need to maintain social distancing? The presentation considers the final consequences that may affect cities in the context of the current and forthcoming crises.


Rachel GYŐRFFY / Budapest H
Towards a Potemkin City: Motifs and Consequences of Reconstructivism in Central- and Eastern Europe

This paper investigates the current reconstructivist trend in Central- and Eastern Europe with the comparison of two case-studies of examples in the post-socialist cities of Berlin and Budapest. According to the central hypothesis, the reconstructivist trend in architecture, manifesting itself in the apparent widespread resentment of society towards late modernist architecture, is in fact a mere psychological projection of unresolved collective traumas of the past. I argue that the aesthetic judgement of late modernist architecture (it being ‘ugly’) is in fact a projection of undisputed and unresolved collective traumas deeply rooted in the collective memory of society The projection is taking form as facadist, scenery-like architecture, the so called Potemkin City. This collective nostalgia towards a never-existing past, connected with the anxiety caused by permanent over-exhaustion of global resources and the unsustainable development, can only imagine the future as a re-establishing of the past. The process is strongly interwoven with the effects of the tourism-industry on the city, when the entity of the city only functions as an Instagram background, resulting in the loss of porosity in the city.


Marcell HAJDU / Weimar D / H
Fragmenting Emptiness: The Democratic Resilience of Post-Socialist Public Spaces in Contemporary Budapest

In my contribution, I take a closer look at the field of tensions that defines the redevelopment of post-socialist green public spaces in Budapest since 2010. I concentrate on the democratic political potentials such spaces hold against the post-democratization and ecological degradation that characterizes the contemporary neoliberal right-wing populist political hegemony in Hungary. I draw up a concept of “emptiness” that describes the alterity of post-socialist urban spaces in comparison with contemporary ideas of urbanity based on urban and political theory. Through a comparison of the People’s Park (Népliget) that has not been transformed since the communist era and the City Park (Városliget) which has been fundamentally transformed in the last decade, I illustrate how the current Hungarian political order is reproduced through the production of urban space. The analysis is based on personal observations, the analysis of media reporting and other official sources such as official websites of projects currently transforming Budapest’s symbolic spaces, laws, decrees and orders legally regulating developments. I finally argue that the emptiness of post-socialist urban public space is of outstanding importance for a politically and ecologically just urban planning, and overcoming the current growth paradigm oriented solely towards growth.


Rania MATROUK & Shaha MAITEH / Budapest H / Syr
Urban Resilience in Post-Socialist Cities: A Descriptive Comparative Study Between Courtyard Block and Panel Housing

In the past decade, urban resilience gained prominent interest in the research field; due to adverse events posing new challenges on communities and societies in cities around the world. Resilience is a dynamic concept that depends on various aspects, but it mainly deals with continuous adjustments and flexibility rather than returning to normality. Cities are a consequence of a complex and long-time spanning process resulting in a mixture of urban patterns that have diverse characteristics that affect the quality of life within the neighbourhood. The research aims to address the impact of urban block characteristics versus panel housing estates in Budapest on the city’s social resilience; by conducting a comparative descriptive study adopting qualitative methods that focuses on analysing the traditional European courtyard block and socialist panel housing concerning their environment, accessibility, and physical characteristics and their relation to social resilience and liveability. The results do not favour an urban pattern but suggest development measures in both cases to achieve better urban resilience and liveability.


Mariia TUMUREEVA & Dr. Valery KOZLOV / Irkutsk Ru
Novo-Lenino District in Irkutsk City as a Post-Socialist Model of Transformation

The article considers modern strategies for renovating of a district of the 1950s and 1970s in a large city in the context of changing socio-economic priorities of society and modern trends in the renovation of mass housing. The district of Irkutsk Novo-Lenino was investigated as one of the largest dwelling areas on the outskirts of the city and as one of the unique models of transformation of the block residential housing at the present stage. Following the logic of design approaches and discussions, the models and basic morphotypes of existing buildings have been identified which form the basis for the transformation of spatial planning parameters of the housing. The logic of changing the morphotypes of buildings is presented as an internal process of modelling the space of the district of various scale levels, in which morphotypes are the spatial and planning basis for the formation of identity of residential groups. The study confirms that the morphology of space influences on the formation of internal spatial and social ties of the residents. The study of the evolutionary processes of the spatial morphology of housing confirms their importance in development of social space in the district of the large Siberian city.


in the online+ session / OCT 09 9.00 am

Urban Resilience in post-Soviet built environment renewal: the case study of Yakutsk

Russian Arctic cities experienced intense urbanization between 1950 and 1980s, as thousands of inhabitants moved to the North, resulting in new scenarios for former small villages and settlements. Yakutsk is a sub-Arctic post-Soviet city that demonstrated a high level of economic development, despite its extreme weather conditions, being the largest city worldwide built on continuous permafrost. This paper aims to understand how urban resilience is being tackled in Yakutsk through the needed renewal of the built environment. Shocks, climate change trends and stresses, alongside projections of abrupt temperature increase in future, combined with permafrost thawing, all pose urban fabric at significant risk. By building on existing grey literature and fieldwork regarding Yakutsk’s current natural and built environment and climate crisis, the research concludes that it is actually in human actions and building procedures where a difference can be made to bring positive changes to the city in mid- and long term. Beyond climate change, technogenic pressure must be considered as the most severe risk to permafrost, and therefore several recommendations in terms of the quality of building techniques and eco-design measures are presented that can help the city become a reference in climate resilience, mitigation and adaptation.