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.