Patterns of everyday spatiality: Belgrade in the 1980s and its post-socialist outcome

Date of Publication:

2014-02-19

Abstract:

The article examines the rise of informal spatial practices in the areas left in the shadows of the socialist planning system, in Belgrade (Serbia, former Yugoslavia) in the 1970s and 1980s. By looking into the relation of spontaneous interventions with the constitutionally enacted system of territorial self-management, we explore both the enclaves of everyday life forming in parallel to the hegemonic and homogenous plan, and highly formalised, planned attempts at emulating spontaneous practices in large housing projects. The research is based on comparative analysis of planning documentation and illegal interventions, period sources including letters and memos written by architects and illegal constructors, available statistics and published polemics. The article argues that many of the unresolved contradictions of the socialist period can be seen as the seeds of those practices which have been part of the post-socialist transition and its spatiality from the 1990s onwards. Indifference toward self-management, cynicism of the everyday in the blind spots of socialist society and the planning profession’s failure to deal with informality, are reproduced within the post-socialist city through unrelenting consumption of the common space

Keywords:

socialist housing; Belgrade; self-management; informal spatiality; illegal construction; post-socialist city

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