- Urban Regeneration vs urban Sprawl - problems and prospects in the post-socialistic cities    click here to open paper content116 kb
by    Lorens, Piotr | plorens@pg.gda.pl   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
The paper examines the chances for successful regeneration strategies as the counter-proposition to suburban development in the realities of a market-oriented urban development system by the example of Polish cities.
Rapid development of urban sprawl is one of the most visible outcomes of the political and economic transformation of the post-socialistic cities in 1990-ties. It is deeply embedded in the consumption aspirations of the newly-born middle class as well as need of cheap housing offers. Therefore, despite all problems associated with living in the underdeveloped suburban structures, living outside cities become the reality for some parts of the society. And these problems are numerous, as i.e. the transport infrastructure is underdeveloped to the extent making living outside the urban centers quite problematic. This makes living in the suburbs not the post-socialistic version of the “American Dream” but the necessity for everyone who can not afford the expensive apartment and still wants to own one. In the realities of the post-socialistic countries, and especially in the realities of Poland this group is relatively large and still growing. This process is accompanied by the rapidly developing housing, service and office market utilizing the sites located in the hearts of the cities. The supply of them is relatively large due to the underdevelopment of the cities in the realities of the socialistic system, spatial outcomes of the economic transformation of the industry and never completed post-war reconstruction. But this newly started process is mostly driven not by any conscious municipal or state policy, but by the market forces based on social demand for offers better than in the suburban areas. This comes from the growing wealth of the post-socialistic societies as well as is stimulated by globalization process. This – paradoxically – creates the new chances for the post-socialistic cities. But these chances have certain limits – in most of the cases the investments are of singular nature and do not create any larger schemes. On the other hand, in the realities of the neo-liberal urban policy they has to be regarded as the only option, as there is no practice of state or local government intervention. Therefore, development of the market as well as underdevelopment of the infrastructure in the suburban areas create very powerful tool in achieving the more sustainable urban form.
Urban regeneration, market-based redevelopment, sustaining urban form
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