1st Edition

Post-Utopian Spaces Transforming and Re-Evaluating Urban Icons of Socialist Modernism

Edited By Valentin Mihaylov, Mikhail Ilchenko Copyright 2023
    246 Pages 50 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    246 Pages 50 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Featuring up-to-date and insightful analyses and comparative case studies from a plethora of countries, this timely book explores ‘ideal’ socialist cities and their transformation under new socio-economic and political conditions after the fall of communism.

    With contributions from leading scholars in the field, this book prioritises objective scientific knowledge and presents expert rethinking of the historical experience of urban planning in the former socialist countries of Eurasia. It draws on carefully selected examples of iconic cities of socialist modernism, from the post-Soviet space, Central Europe, and the Balkans. The book explores the ongoing transformation of these cities: from uniformed urban environment to chaotic post-modernist planning, from industrialisation to touristification, from deideologisation to making new and still highly contested heritage.

    Written in an accessible and engaging style, this book will be of interest to students and scholars in urban studies, human geography, sociology, social anthropology, spatial planning, and architectural practice.

    List of figures

    List of tables

    List of contributors

    1. Introduction: Socialist Urban Utopias and their Continuing Transformations

    Mikhail Ilchenko, Valentin Mihaylov

    2. Rises and Falls of New Socialist Cities

    Valentin Mihaylov

    3. Uralmash: Re-Imagining Utopia, Re-Constructing Urban Space

    Mikhail Ilchenko

    4. Zaporizhzhia: The Socialist City as a Cultural Model

    Pavlo Kravchuk

    5. Tychy: From a Dormitory Town to a Large Industrial Centre

    Jerzy Runge

    6. Eisenhüttenstadt: Urban Heritage in Transformation

    Carola Neugebauer

    7. Ostrava-Poruba: A ‘Pure’ Socialist City in Change and Permanence

    Daniel Topinka

    8. Dunaújváros: Transforming and Re-Branding the Largest New Town of Hungary’s State-Socialist Era

    Kornélia Kissfazekas, Melinda Benkő

    9. New Belgrade: From a Socialist Ideal to a Fragmented Space of Fashionable Architecture

    Zlata Vuksanović-Macura

    10. Dimitrovgrad: a Bulgarian Construction of the 20th Century

    Valentin Mihaylov

    11. Velenje: A Local Community’s Quest for Its Town Heritage and Identity

    Ana Kladnik

    12. Conclusion: Post-Utopian Spaces in Search of Alternative Urban Policies

    Valentin Mihaylov, Mikhail Ilchenko



    Valentin Mihaylov works in the Institute of Social and Economic Geography and Spatial Organisation at the University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland. His scholarly interests are focused on national and territorial identities, urban studies, political geography, and geopolitics, with particular attention to the Balkans and East-Central Europe. He authored scientific publications in Bulgarian, English, Polish, Russian, and Serbian, including six books. Dr. Mihaylov recently published the collective volume Spatial Conflicts and Divisions in Post-Socialist Cities as an editor.

    Mikhail Ilchenko works as a researcher at the Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe in Leipzig. His studies focus on various aspects of urban transformations in Eastern Europe and social history of architecture, with particular interest in changing perceptions and public attitudes towards the modernist architectural heritage. His articles on post-socialist transformations and modernist urban heritage are published in various journals and edited volumes in English, Russian, Ukrainian, and Polish languages.