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Segregated Roma concentrations - current state and potential tools for transformation

Abstract: Acces to resources, unevenness of life conditions and segregation are currently the main challenges of urban planning of 21st century. Those are the topics with different aspects (sicoal, economical) which are spatially reflected as ghettos, illegal slums, ethnical eclaves, or social elite’s fortresses and closed condominiums. Yet overlooked are areas, in which majority of population consists of people of Roma ethnicity, so called 'Roma concentrations'. These areas can be also characterised as ghettos or illegal slum settlements, as the processes of spatial segregation are merging with processes of social exclusion of their inhabitants. Number of these areas has been strikingly increasing - in the last 6 years, number of people living in such settlements has increased in more than 80,000 (almost 7% of Slovak population in total), while the number of settlements itself has increased of 25%. The paper looks at the current state of Roma concentrations in Slovakia with the aim to include these areas in the discourse of the excluded locations worldwide and thus outline the possible application of new tools of transformation of these types of settlements. Firstly, the scope and setting of Roma concentration is introduced, followed by historic analysis of development of Roma concentrations showing that in many time state-proposed strategies had actually resulted in deepening the spatial segregation. Consequently are scrutinised current government routings, looking at strategies as well as tools applied in praxis. Placing these approaches in the framework of international discourses and practices, it can be concluded that the general shift advocating by most recent Strategy for Roma inclusion 2020 keeps up with the general trend of prioritising 'supportive' policies. Even though the institutional tools for implementation of these ideas into practices are in Slovakia still missing, local-based pilot projects imply that this shift have a potential to bring many positive results, as discussed in the last part of this paper.

KATARÍNA SMATANOVÁ, M.A (2015). Segregované romské koncentrace - současný stav a možné nástroje transformace . In: Pavel Holubec, ed. Člověk, stavba a územní plánování 8. ČVUT v Praze, Fakulta stavební pp. 240-252. ISBN 978-80-01-05655-4. ISSN 2336-7695.