--> No. 13

Collage Europa

Periode 2004 / Project Collage Europa / Opdrachtgever NAi / Locatie Rotterdam / Met Peter Bilak, Theo Hauben, Wies Sanders


The so­ci­a­list ci­ty 1948-1990 Ur­ba­nists de­ba­te whe­ther the­re are fun­da­men­tal dif­fe­ren­ces bet­ween a ca­pi­ta­list and a so­ci­a­list ci­ty. On one si­de ur­ba­nists claim that for in­stan­ce col­lec­ti­ve ow­ner­ship and cen­tra­li­zed plan­ning in so­ci­a­list coun­tries de­fi­ned a cru­ci­al dif­fe­ren­ce with ca­pi­ta­list ci­ties dri­ven by mar­ket com­pe­ti­ti­on and lo­cal de­ci­si­on-ma­king. Mo­re re­cent­ly, other ur­ba­nists claim that no such thing is the ca­se for­ces of ur­ba­ni­sa­ti­on, in­du­stri­a­li­sa­ti­on and net­wor­king are the sa­me for all ci­ties, from one po­li­ti­cal re­gime to ano­ther. Po­li­ti­cal re­gimes on­ly ha­ve an mi­nor in­flu­en­ce in cor­rec­ting the ba­sic lan­gu­a­ge of ur­ban morp­ho­lo­gy.

The maps show the­se 'so­ci­a­list cor­rec­ti­ons' on a se­pa­ra­te lay­er on top of the map. The lay­er high­lights the so­ci­a­list morp­ho­lo­gy of 13 Eu­ro­pe­an ci­ties that we­re - in one way or ano­ther - un­der the in­flu­en­ce of Sov­jet com­mu­nism rough­ly bet­ween 1948 and 1990. In­clu­ded are ca­pi­tal ci­ties, har­bour ci­ties, in­du­stri­al ci­ties, tra­de ci­ties and new ci­ties in 8 dif­fe­rent coun­tries, showing bo­th the dif­fe­ren­ces as the si­mi­la­ri­ties bet­ween the­se for­mer so­ci­a­list ci­ties.

 

Icons

1. The Le­nin Street/Squa­re

The so­ci­a­list ver­si­on of Main Street, eve­ry so­ci­a­list­ci­ty re­cal­l­ed the main street to Le­nin Street. So­me na­med it Sta­lin Ave­nue ort­he Red Ar­my squa­re. Af­ter 1989 the streets we­re re­na­med again.

2. The Buil­ding of Po­wer

Stra­te­gi­cally lo­ca­ted in the middle of the ci­ty or in­the first so­ci­a­list ex­pan­si­on of the ci­ty is the buil­ding of the pe­o­p­le in po­wer: the par­ty buil­ding, the mi­li­ta­ry of­fi­ce or the se­cret ser­vi­ce. Sin­ce1989 the­se buil­dings are reu­sed for pu­blic use or are still wai­ting for ne­wu­ses.

3. The Hou­se of Cul­tu­re

The ide­o­lo­gy was also trans­mit­ted through edu­ca­ti­o­nand cul­tu­re, the lat­ter ones in spe­ci­al mo­nu­men­tal buil­dings for ga­thering. So­me hou­ses of cul­tu­re are sin­ce 1989 in pri­va­te hands.

4. The Ma­gi­stra­le

An ur­ban bou­le­vard to host mas­ses of pe­o­p­le on mar­ches or pa­ra­des, usu­al­ly uni­fying par­ty-buil­dings, of­fi­ces and hou­ses of cul­tu­re. The Ma­gi­stra­le as a main bou­le­vard still exist.

5. The Mo­nu­ment

A tri­bu­te to the lea­ders and mar­tyrs of so­ci­a­lism, on­ly a few of the­se mo­nu­ments sur­vi­ved post-so­ci­a­lism.

6. The TV To­wer

An icon of pro­pa­gan­da and tech­no­lo­gy at the sa­me ti­me, ma­jor ci­ties are still do­mi­na­ted by a grand ar­chi­tec­tu­ral TV to­wer on top of the moun­tain or in the cen­tre of the ci­ty, so­me­ti­mes ad­ded with a res­tau­rant on top. The TV to­wers still exist.

 

Eco­no­my

7. Hea­vy In­du­stry

Hea­vy in­du­stry was at the co­re of Mar­xist ide­o­lo­gy: con­trol of in­du­stry and la­bour was cru­ci­al for the con­struc­ti­on of a so­ci­a­list­so­ci­e­ty. Re­si­den­ti­al are­as, re­cre­a­ti­on and in­fra­struc­tu­re we­re spin offs and parts of the in­du­stri­al cen­tre. Sin­ce 1989 a lot of si­tes ha­ve lost their­glo­bal eco­no­mic me­a­ning, lea­ving ci­ties with hu­ge con­ta­mi­na­ted si­tes and un­em­ploy­ed pro­le­ta­ri­ans.

8. Col­lec­ti­ve Net­work

In­cor­po­ra­ted in hou­sing plans and also ide­o­lo­gi­cally cor­rect we­re the col­lec­ti­ve dis­trict he­a­ting and the ex­ten­si­on of pu­blic trans­port sys­tems such as trol­ley­bus­ses, me­tros and trams. The po­wer sta­ti­on was usu­al­ly con­nec­ted to the in­du­stri­al zo­ne that pro­du­ced a sur­plus of he­at. Af­ter 1989 the­se sys­tems de­te­rio­ta­te, are pri­va­ti­sed and mo­der­ni­zed by wes­tern com­pa­nies.

9. Ex­hi­bi­ti­on of So­ci­a­list Pro­gres­si­on

Wes­tern coun­tries showed off their com­pe­ten­ce on tem­po­ra­ry world ex­pos, but so­me so­ci­a­list ci­ties had per­ma­nent ex­hi­bi­ti­ons of the so­ci­a­list in­no­va­ti­ons in in­du­stry, as­tro­no­my and agri­cul­tu­re.

 

Hou­sing

10. The New Ci­ty: So­ci­a­list Re­a­lism

On­ly for a re­la­ti­ve short pe­ri­od in ti­me the so­ci­a­li­stre­a­lis­tic sty­le do­mi­na­ted the lay out of the new ci­ty, un­til 1954 (1932-1954). It is charac­te­ri­sed by the re­fe­ren­ce to clas­si­cal art and sym­bo­lism in ar­chi­tec­tu­re and a mo­nu­men­tal de­sign. The sty­le was soon to be abo­lis­hed by Chroestjew, who in­tro­du­ced the pro­duc­ti­on mo­der­nism as part of the eco­no­mi­cal plan.

11. The New Ci­ty: Pro­duc­ti­on Mo­der­nism

The new in­du­stri­a­li­sed ci­ty or Plat­ten­bau do­mi­na­tes the buil­ding-pro­duc­ti­on from the mid fif­ties on­wards till 1990. The standard pro­duc­ti­on re­sul­ted in standard and in­flexi­ble floor plans and hou­sing-blocks. The­se hou­sing-quar­ters ha­ve on­ly a few ac­cess roads and the hou­sing blocks are freestan­ding in a wi­de open green area. At pre­sent day in so­me ci­ties the dwel­lings in the­se quar­ters are pri­va­te­ly ow­ned by their oc­cu­pants, in other ci­ties the oc­cu­pants ha­ve left the area un­in­ha­bi­ted.

 

Re­cre­a­ti­on

12. Pe­o­p­le's Park

The pe­o­p­le's park was a col­lec­ti­ve mee­ting point wit­han open-air the­a­tre, re­cre­a­ti­o­nal fa­ci­li­ties as spor­ting, ro­wing, a pu­blic res­tau­rant etc. It can also be a uni­on or 'Ve­rein' park.

13. Pi­o­neers Park

A spe­ci­al park is the pi­o­neers park with the child­ren's rail­way, a mi­ni­a­tu­re but re­al ver­si­on of the tram whe­re child­ren we­re dri­ving re­al trams on ti­me sche­du­les and work on ma­chi­nes. In se­ve­r­al ci­ties the­se trams are still dri­ven by child­ren, on ti­me!

14. Sport Sta­di­um

The show pla­ce built for the phy­si­cal ef­forts of (Olym­pic) athle­tics.

 

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