ReNewTown on the international conference WARSAW REGIONAL FORUM 2013


The ReNewTown project will be presented on the international conference titled WARSAW REGIONAL FORUM 2013, Territorial capital – concepts, indicators & policy. Prof. Irena Ograjenšek will speak about ReNewTown Handbook of Models for Positive Urban Transformation. Moreover the problems of the post-socialist cities will be discussed also by prof. Grzegorz Węcławowicz who will present a paper on Urban policy challenge for the post socialist cities of Central Europe and dr Mirosław Grochowski who will give a speech on Dealing with legacy of socialism: post-industrial areas in urban development policies.


Irena Ograjenšek

ReNewTown Handbook of Models for Positive Urban Transformation

Almost two thirds of over 300 million people in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) live in urban settlements which were planned and established during the socialist period either in their entirety or partially (in form of fast-growing districts). Only a small minority managed to survive the transition from planned to market economy without much disturbance and have been prospering to this day. The majority has been fighting numerous economic and social problems; the issue of how to improve quality of life and social cohesion in post-socialist urban settlements being among the more prominent ones. The project entitled ew Post-Socialist City: Competitive and Attractive (in short the ReNewTown project:, which has been implemented through the Central Europe Programme co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund, focuses on reduction of disparities in quality of post-socialist urban environment (not only by positive transformation of residential landscapes but also by improved quality and accessibility of public spaces, increased provision of cultural and social events, increased support of entrepreneurial initiatives, etc.). To this end several model approaches have been identified and four pilot actions implemented in post-socialist cities from four different Central and Eastern European countries (Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia).

The list of models includes:
− Improved provision of local cultural and social events.
− Improved public spaces between blocks of flats.
− Provision of support for the development of small business operators in the area of blocks of
− Improved attractiveness of the architecture of the socialist-period building.
− Promotion of the local community involvement in events organized in its quarter.
− New functions for structures from the period of socialism.
− Use of voluntary work to improve post-socialist urban environment.
− Improved awareness of the socialist urban heritage through communication channels.
− Improved energy efficiency of buildings from the socialist period.
− Direct involvement of the local community in decision-making processes on urban development projects.
− Shared responsibility between owners and users for maintaining building structures (not necessarily built during the socialist period but neglected during this time).
− Improved attractiveness of structures intentionally neglected during the period of socialism (1945-1989/1991). 

Each of these models is presented (along with lessons concerning ist practical implementation) in one of the core ReNewTown project publications entitled Post-Socialist City: A Role Model for Urban Revitalisation in the 21st Century. This paper discusses the importance of neighbourhoods for positive urban transformation using selected highlights from the Handbook of Models as illustrative

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