Post-Socialist Urban Infrastructures critically elaborates on often forgotten, but some of the most essential, aspects of contemporary urban life, namely infrastructures, and links them to a discussion of post-socialist transformation.
As the skeletons of cities, infrastructures capture the ways in which urban environments are assembled and urban lives unfold. Focusing on post-socialist cities, marked by neoliberalisation, polarisation and hybridity, this book offers new and enriching perspectives on urban infrastructures by centering on the often marginalised aspects of urban research—transport, green spaces, and water and heating provision.
Featuring cases from West and East alike, the book covers examples from Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Germany, Russia, Georgia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Tajikistan, and India. It provides original insights into the infrastructural back end of post-socialist cities for scholars, planners and activists interested in urban geography, cultural and social anthropology, and urban studies.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Linking Post-Socialist and Urban Infrastructures
Tauri Tuvikene, Wladimir Sgibnev and Carola S. Neugebauer
2. Energy Poverty in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE): Understanding the European Union’s core-periphery divide
Stefan Bouzarovski and Sergio Tirado Herrero
3. The Thermodynamics of the Social Contract: Making Infrastructures Visible in the Case of District Heating in Two Towns in Serbia and Croatia
4. Ideologies and Informality in Urban Infrastructure: The Case of Housing in Soviet and Post-Soviet Baku
5. Changing times, persistent inequalities? Patterns of housing infrastructure development in the South Caucasus
Joseph Salukvadze and David Sichinava
6. Post-Soviet ‘Nuclear’ Towns as Multi-Scalar Infrastructures: Relating Sovereignty and Urbanity Through the Perspective of Visaginas
7. Green Infrastructure in Post-Socialist Cities: Evidence and Experiences from Eastern Germany, Poland and Russia
Dagmar Haase, Diana Dushkova, Annegret Haase, Jakub Kronenberg
8. Moscow Urban Development: Neoliberal Urbanism and Green Infrastructures
Daniela Zupan and Mirjam Büdenbender
9. Bengaluru’s urban water infrastructure through the lens of post-socialism
Chandrima Mukhopadhyay and Tauri Tuvikene
10. Public Transport in Brno: From Socialist to Post-Socialist Rhythms
Ondřej Mulíček and Daniel Seidenglanz
11. Predictability and Propinquity on the Sofia Metro: Everyday Metro Journeys and Long-Term Relations of Transport Infrastructuring
12. Infrastructures as Fluidities: How Marshrutkas Help Us to Overcome Static Conceptions of Road-Based Mobility Service Provision
Tonio Weicker and Wladimir Sgibnev
13. Conclusion: Infrastructure and Post-Socialism in Theory and Practice
Carola S. Neugebauer, Wladimir Sgibnev and Tauri Tuvikene
Tauri Tuvikene is an urban geographer at Tallinn University. His research deals with comparative urbanism in relation to post-socialist cities. He has published on conceptualizations of post-socialism, garage areas in (post-)Soviet urban spaces and urban (transport) infrastructures, including the politics of parking and walking in an urban environment.
Wladimir Sgibnev defended his PhD degree at Humboldt University's Central Asian studies department addressing the social production of space in urban Tajikistan. Currently, he is Senior Researcher at the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography (Leipzig), working on urban processes in post-Soviet countries, particularly urban development and mobility in peripheralized locations.
Carola S. Neugebauer studied landscape architecture and urban design in Germany and France. She is Associate Professor at the RWTH Aachen University. Taking up an interdisciplinary and comparative stance on cities, her research has been focused on urban transformations, planning and cultural heritage in Central Eastern Europe and the post-Soviet space.
‘This is an important contribution to how we understand the often over-looked role of urban infrastructure in post-socialist change. Covering a tremendous range of places and debates – from water, heating and transport to the consequences for theory, policy and practice - the book powerfully reveals the centrality of infrastructure for urban life, inequalities, development, and futures’ - Colin McFarlane, Professor of Urban Geography, Durham University, UK
'The rich case studies in Post-Socialist Urban Infrastructures demonstrate how infrastructure can serve as a site for investigating both the surprising persistence of socialist institutions and material forms, and the effects of dramatic liberalization in countries of the former socialist world. More than simply applying the tools of the "infrastructural turn" to a new set of cases, the contributions capture the distinctive infrastructure legacy of socialist modernity, as well as the sometimes surprising pathways of post-socialist infrastructural change. The volume impressively spans a range of disciplinary discussions—from urban studies to city planning, geography, and STS—that are rarely brought together in studies of infrastructure in the interpretive social sciences.' - Stephen J. Collier, Professor of City and Regional Planning at University of California, Berkeley, USA