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Anarchy versus Regulation: Housing estate in Post-socialism

Abstract: Housing estate quarters of urban structures having been built in the period of socialism are currently impacted by the necessary urban transformations and neoplasms. While both here and in many other countries of the former Soviet satellites have a form of housing estates and their development is tied by regulations and "economic players" determining the radical architectural or urban design changes, in the areas of the former Soviet Union the current form of housing units is the result of unguided architectural and urban interventions. However, in many cases, in the expansive examples bordering with so called "folk art" we can see some functional principles of "urbanity". They may represent a potential for the future design and development of housing estates in the Czech Republic. The paper explores the process of housing estate quarters usage in states with low economic performance, namely in Georgia, Moldova, Armenia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan etc. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, while the new economic system has destroyed the original urban structure of so called micro-regions, with the development of small individualism, the private sector has changed the form of the city housing estate. The total economic collapse and lack of spatial regulations began to offer an accessible alternative housing and a place to do business. We can discover kiosks and gradually expanding parterres of a real urban type. At the same time we can observe a new front of streets responding to space reserves and distance, as well as appearance of vertical streets inside the houses. The construction itself is no longer just a place for living, but many flats are used as offices and small businesses. Services are developing and the diversity of the environment begins to grow rapidly. Typical monotony of housing units begins to fade and is transformed into a network monitoring the needs of the population. Thus the periphery becomes a distinctive part of the city.

SEDLÁK, Jaroslav (2016). Anarchie versus regulace: sídliště v postsocialismu. In: Pavel Holubec, ed. Člověk, stavba a územní plánování 9. České vysoké učení technické v Praze pp. 81-90. ISBN 978-80-01-06002-5. ISSN 2336-7695.