Dr. Domonkos WETTSTEIN PhD / Budapest, H
BME Department of Urban Planning and Design / research & education platform

Prof. Ľubica VITKOVA PhD / Bratislava, Sk
STUBA Department of Urban Design and Planning / personal webpage at STUBA

Prof. Barbara ENGEL PhD / Karlsruhe, D
KIT  Department of Architecture / research / Dialogue on Large Housing Estates



Post-Socialist Transformation Challenges on Seasonal Landscapes

Freedom appeared on a new scale but with a different meaning in eastern and western landscapes after the Second World War. While in the West, freedom emerged in the form of the right to leisure, in the East, holidays became a means of consolidating social policy. The increasing infrastructure capacity has opened up new opportunities for domestic tourism and recreation for a wider range of society, while it became a showcase for socialism for international tourism. However the building process transformed the landscapes spectacularly, the buildings were designed just to meet the functional needs of seasonal tourism focusing on a short period of land use. Simple and lightweight, experimental buildings soon became widely popular and deeply positioned in the collective memory as landmarks.

After seventy years, new trends in landscape transformation are taking place. Post-socialist resorts are now being shaped by privatization and tourism concepts instead of socialist ideology. Formerly modern tourist monuments today struggle with problems of heritage protection and rehabilitation. The buildings, once built for seasonal purposes, should now be redesigned to meet the needs of year-round tourism. At the same time, communal memory still looks with nostalgia at the modern architectural monuments of early mass tourism. 

The new forms of freedom pose new challenges to the post-socialist leisure escapes.
How have new tourism trends transformed landscape identities?
What rehabilitation challenges and tools are emerging in the renewal of tourist facilities?
In what ways is it possible to define new concepts for post-socialist leisurescapes?

We look for answers at different scale levels: In addition to landscape-scale processes, we are also looking for answers to the problems of resort settlements and the architectural heritage. Abstracts can build on theoretical concepts, case studies, process interpretations and spatial comparative analyzes among post-socialist countries or between Eastern and Western Europe.