A chaotic mix

Public space and place making in the age of privatization.

“Looking at the major squares and main streets of Warsaw, Gdańsk, Tallinn, Belgrade and Kiev, you can’t help but be struck by the chaos of advertising, dilapidation and new developments that are rudely shoved into the interstices of formerly public space.”

A transition from complete state ownership over all land and space, to virtually none is what characterises most post-soviet urban contexts, but the effects of privatisation on how public space is used and designed in former Soviet cities differ widely. Is it disappearing as a consequence of diminishing public assets, and are the differences between “western” and “eastern” cities are as significant as some would argue?

Read this article by Owen Hatherley for The Guardian about public squares and privatisation in former Soviet states and cities.

Independence Square and the Khreschatyk in Kiev. Photograph: Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters via www.theguardian.co.uk

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