Conference theme


After the collapse of state socialism in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), the former socialist countries’ inclusion into the competitive global economies advanced as both; temporally and spatially uneven processes. These uneven processes presented myriad diversities, thereby implying significant shifts and high levels of creativity in finding ways of adapting to new forms of socio-political realities, which in turn offered a multitude of opportunities for urban research. Subsequently, scholarly attention has been paid particularly on examining interconnections between historical-, sociological-, and market-related aspects of transitioning processes. However, the exact implications of their spatial transformations have been largely absent within systematic research. Contrary to the often more adaptable socio-political structures of cities, built urban environment requires more time to adapt to changes and consequently reflect the new ideological concepts. This thereby warrants thirty years of comprehensive transition (1989-2019) as an optimum point of departure for undertaking a thorough and in-depth reflection. Hence, the international conference “Three Decades of Post-socialist Transition” seeks to bring together leading urban academics to discuss issues of post-socialist transition and a multitude of its effects on built urban environment from diverse perspectives. In addition, we also aim to challenge and advance both our knowledge and practice around the complex links within the neoliberal development agenda, socio-political changes, post-socialist identity formation, representation of cities and the urban space.

The research group Urban Morphosis Lab invites you to submit abstracts that refer to the above-mentioned issues of post-socialist transition affecting urban spaces. Our conference also welcomes inter- and transdisciplinary approaches to this subject. Some of the key themes that will be discussed during the conference are:


  • Urban memory and heritage

  • Contested heritage and heritage of conflict

  • Urban and national identity building

  • Governance, planning, revitalization and regeneration

  • Urban shrinkage and sustainability

  • Urban tourism, branding and marketing

  • Socio-political contestations and negotiations

  • Gentrification, spatial segregation and polarization

Keynote speakers

Conference sessions



  1. How Long Does The ‘Post’ Last? Spatial Dynamics in Post-Socialist Transition

    • The lost past: the construction of despair in the Tajik capital (M. Bahovadinova)

    • Super-gentrification in a post-socialist state on the example of Poland (Drozda, Ł.)

    • Transition and Control: Urban Development along Belgrade's Waterfront (Bobic, N.)

    • Urban Transformation in Post-Socialist Cities of Former Yugoslavia – Case Study of Ljubljana, Slovenia (Valinger Sluga, M.)

  2. Socialist Legacy–Emerging Heritage?

    • Contemporary Art and Socialist Heritage Debate in Post-Socialist Bulgaria (Belcheva, I.)

    • Fragmentation of Social Experiences: Everyday Encounters with the Memorial Architecture of Socialist Yugoslavia (Murtic, A.)

    • Representations of Socialist Architecture in Hungary (Jasz, B.)

    • Intangible, fetishized & constructed new contexts for staging the socialist heritage (Zekovic, M., Zugic, V., Stojkovic, B.)

    • The Past as a Rotting Place. Active Negligence and Wasted Legacies after Socialism (Martínez, F.)

    • Ideology, Power and Socialist Urban Legacy in Macedonia: a Reflection on the Project Skopje 2014 (Staletovic, B.)

    • Loss of Heritage, Revival of Memory (Harutyunyan, T.)

    • Inherited housing - 30 years of communal apartments life after Socialism–the case of Kyiv's Sotsgorod (Mezentsev, K., Denysenko, O.)

    • The Possibility for Prefabrication: Institute for Testing Materials Serbia IMS (Badnjar Gojnic, A.)

    • What meaning for modernity? Politics of the socialist heritage in Croatia (Viderman, T., Berc, D.)

  3. The Urban Morphology of Post Socialism

    • Post socialist or global capitalist? Recent urban form in Belgrade and Krakow compared with developments in the UK (Samuels, I., Kantarek, A. A., Djordjevic, A.)

    • Skopje’s urbanism of everything is possible – How does it compare to other post-socialist urbanisms? (Stojanovski, T.)

    • Alienation, Appropriation, Autogestion… Territoriale: Urban Artefacts as Carriers of Spatial Self-Management (Pajovic, U.)

    • Post-socialist housing in Novi Sad, Serbia (Stefanovic,V., Rajkovic, I.)

    • The role of land ownership in the small towns’ development (Kwiatek-Sołtys, A.)

    • Departing from the post-socialist city: emigration and urban morphologies in southeastern Europe (König, J.)

    • Morphological development of the micro districts under the pressure of the post-socialist transformations–case studies of the Siberian cities (Kukina, I., Fedchenko, I.)

    • Morphological pattern of outer fringe belts of socialist city in Post-socialist period (Logunova, E.)

    • Transformation of public spaces in a post-socialist city (Chui, I.)

    • Housing construction and spatial forms of the development of Moscow agglomeration (Kurichev, N., Kuricheva, E.)

    • Lost identities of transformed urban spaces in east Germany’s post-socialist cities (Rogge, N.)

    • “Three Digit Blocks”; The Socialist Imprint on the Housing Strategies in Eastern Europe and The Middle East (Bedour, B.)

  4. Contested functions of (socialist) architecture in post-socialist cities

    • Size Matters:  Problems and Potentials of Bigness of Public Socialist Buildings (Konstantinovic, D., Jovic, S.)

    • Recourse to Utopia: Architecture and the Production of Sense Without Meaning (Jepson, G.)

    • The New Social Reality of Ex-Socialist Architecture (Tatlic, I.)

    • Place attachment in the Solidarity Housing Estate Prague (Hodúlová, T.)

    • The transformation of urban environment of Tirana during the post-socialist transition (Gjermeni, E., Lushaj, A.)

    • From Soviet Utopia to New Opportunities (Kupatadze, I., Alavidze, I.)

    • Destruction or Decay: The Outlook of Postwar Industrial Heritage of Serbia (Vlajic, A.)

    • The Three Layers of the City of Kukes: A Proposal for Revitalizing Collective Urban Memory (Breçani, R.)

    • Post-socialist spatial and functional restructuring of residential dvors (courtyards) in Yekaterinburg’s mikrorayons (formerly Sverdlovsk) (Gobova, N.)

  5. 1989-2019 CEE urban transformation revisited: city visions, self-made transitions and alternative development models

    • Beyond the Global North and South: Contemporary studies of local activism in Post-Soviet Russia (Zhelnina, A., Tykanova, E.)

    • Stigmergic behaviours in urban transformation of post-socialist cities: case of Ukraine (Fonseca, M. A., Chabanyuk, O.)

    • Post-socialist reality: From informal settlement to detached suburbia, case of Niš, Serbia (Jovic, Dj.)

    • Challenges of civic engagement in the (post-socialist) transitional society: experiences from waterfront urban areas Mezapark in Riga and Kalarand in Tallinn (Prilenska, V., Paadam, K., Liias, R.)

    • Reclaim positions and reimagine the city? Lviv urban experts since the late 1980s (Otrishchenko, N.)

    • Typological narratives of a fragmented urban landscape; Case of Skopje (Noev, I.)

    • "Authorities' Point of View is to Keep a Silence": Interaction between Initiative Groups and Local Authorities in the Urban Planning Policy (Shevtsova, I., Bederson, V.)

    • From Block to City, and Back: Post-1989 Transformation of Residential Neighborhoods in Podgorica (Dragovic, S.)

    • Social production of space in Kazan: between urban entrepreneurialism and bottom-up activism (Turowska, A.)

    • Transitions and renovation projects at the central marketplace of post-socialist Sofia: changing values and plans from the 1980s untill 2013 (Venkov, N.)

  6. Culture-led urban transformation and tourism potential in post-socialist Europe and beyond

    • Survival of socialist legacy in Budapest city center   (Ben Salem, S. Simon, M.)

    • Culture – led urban transformation and urban heritage in the postsocialist city: The case of Petrovaradin Fortress in Novi Sad (Pajvancic-Cizelj, A., Ristic, D., Marinkovic, D.)

    • Nuisance or Economic Salvation - the Role of New Urban Tourism in Today's Berlin (Raschke, A. L., Brandt, S., Müller, C.)

    • City Tourist Guide: from ideology tool to promotion of consumerism (example of Lviv) (Kozlova, I.)

    • Urban identity struggles in post-socialist Bosnia and Herzegovina: the case of civil society-led transformation of the open public space in Banja Luka (Spiric, A., Lakic, S.)

  7. Contentious Mobility Governance: Mobility as an entry point to understanding urban governance in post-Soviet Cities

    • Study of everyday urban mobility practices executed on a fixed gear or road racing bike in the city (Cermak, M.)

    • Immobility and challenges of modernization: Car parking in Warsaw (Kurnicki, K.)

    • Governing post-socialist mobilities. A mobility justice lens (Sgibnev, V., Rekhviashvili, L., Tuvikene, T.)

    • Marshrutka 2.0 – How Yandex Taksi fundamentally shifts the post-soviet transport assemblages in contemporary Russian cities (Weicker, T.)

  8. Rural Areas in the Post-Socialist Context

    • “There is a need to restore services and grocery stores in our countryside…”: Discourse on rural peripheralization in Czechia against the background of rural socio-economic development (Bernard, J.)

    • Collapse of a Soviet Estonian kolkhoz: cowboy capitalism and redistribution of land and wealth (Veldi, M.)

    • Spatial Patterns of Rural Population Dynamics During the Transition: A Case Study of Tyumen Oblast, Russia (Sheludkov, A., Müller, D.)

    • Memorialisation of authentic historical localities, People’s Liberation Struggle in non-urban areas (Lovrencic, L.)

  9. New patterns of land appropriation in post-socialist space

    • Territory, Property, and Post-Socialist Formations of Land Enclosure (Smirnova, V.)

    • The commons in the post socialist city – a Western Balkan case study (Toto, R., Cacic, M., Nientied, P.)

    • Legitimacy of illegal: the growth of socialist and post socialist urban fringe in Belgrade, Serbia (Mitrovic, B.)

    • Second home mobility: informal seasonal settlements as a socialist heritage and a part of modern Moscow agglomeration (Rusanov, A.)

    • Revitalization of industrial zones of Moscow (Kuptsova, I.)

  10. Innovating the Post-socialist City: Challenging Legacy. Emerging Fears?

    • Spatial Multiplicities and Urban Conflicts: a proposal of critical cartography of the condition of urban un-protection in the Metropolitan Region of Belo Horizonte (Brazil) (Cruz, M. C.; de Cássia Lucena Velloso, R.)

    • Between the Hammer and the Anvil: Transition Architecture of Postwar Ex-Yugoslavia (Stanicic, A.)

    • Local responses to urban shrinkage: the emergence of a comprehensive view in a former mining city Novoshakhtinsk, Southern Russia (Batunova, E., Trukhachev, S.)

    • Sustainable functionalism, after neo-liberalism and socialism (Toloue Hayat Azar, P.)

  11. Promises of Strategic Urban Planning

    • The Democratization of Urban Planning? The Political Debate over Prague’s “Metropolitan Plan” (O'Dwyer, C.)

    • Strategic or strategic? Reaffirmation of socialist planning on the case of Belgrade (Danilovic Hristic, N., Colic, N., Đurđević, M.)

    • New urban practices in Russia's periphery (Kitsos, V.)

    • The New Urban Strategies in Designing and Branding Medium-Size Cities in Uzbekistan: Cases of Chartak, Kagan and Yangiyuln
      (Salimova, H.)

    • From state hubris to private hybrids. Tracing the Soviet urban legacy in Samarkand, Uzbekistan (van der Straeten, J., Petrova, M.)

Opening word/closing lecture


Book of Abstracts.png

Three Decades of Post-socialist Transition. Book of Abstracts

TUprints, 2019

Available for download here.

Important Deadlines


  • 31 Aug. 2018 – Deadline for session proposals

  • 10 Sep. 2018 – Notification of selected sessions

  • 11 Sep. 2018 – Call for papers open

  • 10 Nov. 2018 – Deadline for abstract submission

  • 30 Nov. 2018 – Notification of selected abstracts

  • 01 Dec. 2018 – Registration opens

  • 31 Jan. 2019 – Deadline for registration

  • 28 Feb. 2019 – Deadline for paper submission (EXTENDED TO 15 Mar. 2019!)

  • 01 Apr. 2019 – Final Conference programme

Guidelines for Paper Submission can be downloaded here.

Mitglieder der Architekten- und Stadtplanerkammer Hessen (AKH) mit der Teilnahme an der u. g. Konferenz gemäß § 3 der Fortbildungsordnung der AKH 12 (7+5)Fortbildungspunkte erwerben können!

Preliminary conference programme

       Conference programme flyer can be downloaded here.

        DAY 1: Friday, 17.05.2019


        08:45-09:30   Reception and registration

        09:30-09:45   Opening remarks and welcome address

        09:45-10:45   Inaugural lecture: Urbanization of transition: cities as the agency of change (Prof. Dr. Oleg Golubchikov)

        10:45-11:00   Break

        11:00-12:40   Parallel sessions I

                              Session 1: How Long Does The ‘Post’ Last? Spatial Dynamics in Post-Socialist Transition

                              Session 2A: Socialist Legacy–Emerging Heritage?

                              Session 3A: The Urban Morphology of Post Socialism

        12:40-13:40   Lunch break

        13:40-15:00   Parallel sessions II

                              Session 2B: Socialist Legacy–Emerging Heritage?

                              Session 4A: Contested functions of (socialist) architecture in post-socialist cities

                              Session 5A: 1989-2019 CEE urban transformation revisited: city visions, self-made transitions and alternative                                                                      development models

        15:00-15:15   Coffee Break

        15:15-17:05   Parallel sessions III

                              Session 3B: The Urban Morphology of Post Socialism

                              Session 4B: Contested functions of (socialist) architecture in post-socialist cities

                              Session 6: Culture-led urban transformation and tourism potential in post-socialist Europe and beyond

        17:05-17:20   Break

        17:20-18:20   Closing lecture: Conflicting urbanism(s): post-socialist and post-industrial urban transformations and everyday life: the                                                             case of Hoyerswerda, East Germany (Prof. Dr. Nina Gribat)


        DAY 2: Saturday, 18.05.2019


        09:00-09:45   Registration

        09:45-10:45   Opening lecture: Mastering the post-socialist city: is urban planning history? (Prof. Dr. Kaliopa Dimitrovska Andrews)

        10:45-11:00   Break

        11:00-12:40   Parallel sessions IV

                              Session 5B: 1989-2019 CEE urban transformation revisited: city visions, self-made transitions and alternative                                                                     development models

                              Session 7: Contentious Mobility Governance: Mobility as an entry point to understanding urban governance in post-                                                       socialist cities

                              Session 8: Rural Areas in the Post-Socialist Context

        12:40-13:40   Lunch break

        13:40-15:00   Parallel sessions V

                              Session 9: New patterns of land appropriation in post-socialist space

                              Session 10: Innovating the Post-socialist City: Challenging Legacy. Emerging Fears?

                              Session 11: Promises of Strategic Urban Planning

        15:00-15:15   Coffee Break

        15:15-16:15   Closing lecture: Half-Life Cities: Capitalist Pasts and Socialist Futures (Prof. Dr. Luděk Sýkora)

        16:15-16:30   Break

        16:30-17:30   Plenary session

        17:30-18:00   Closing remarks and conference summation

Location and venue


Darmstadt is a city in the German state of Hessen, conveniently located in the southern part of the Frankfurt Metropolitan Region. As the former capital of a prosperous sovereign country, the Grand Duchy of Hesse, Darmstadt gained some international prominence. This further grew with rapid industrialisation in the 19th century, as well as at the beginning of the 20th century, when Darmstadt became an important centre for the art movement of Jugendstil, the German variant of Art Nouveau. However, during the Second World War; over three quarters of the inner city was destroyed, leading to a comprehensive reconstruction and renovation period afterwards. Nonetheless, the city played  host to numerous technology companies, research institutes, the ESOC (European Space Operations Centre) and GSI (Centre for Heavy Ion Research), leading it to be officially promoted as the "City of Science" since 1997.

The conference will take place in Technische Universität Darmstadt, which is one of the leading universities of technology in Germany. The sessions will be held on its city centre campus, offering plenty of opportunities to explore the city centre. The main conference venue will be in the Maschienenhaus (the power plant building):


S1|05 Maschienenhaus
Magdalenenstraße 12
64289 Darmstadt

The Maschienenhaus was built in 1904 by the architect and professor of the former TH Darmstadt Georg Wickop and served until 2001 as a power plant of the Campus Stadtmitte. It was renovated and converted to the lecture hall building with seminar rooms by the K + H Architekten from Stuttgart. The reopening was celebrated on 2013.


Photos: Thomas Ott / TU Darmstadt

Arranged accommodation

Welcome Hotel, Karolinenpl. 4, 64289 Darmstadt (keynotes)                 Maritime Hotel, Rheinstraße 105, 64295 Darmstadt (session chairs)

Organizing committee


Dr. Nebojša Čamprag, TU Darmstadt, Faculty of Architecture

Dr. Mirjana Ristić, TU Darmstadt, Faculty of Social Sciences

Dr. Anshika Suri, TU Darmstadt, Faculty of Architecture




DfG German Research Foundation

Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany

Ingenium, Young Researchers at TU Darmstadt

AG Interdisziplinäre Stadtforschung

Ephemera Collective, Novi Sad, Serbia



Nebojša Čamprag

Research Group Urban Morphosis Lab

Technische Universität Darmstadt

Faculty of Architecture

El-Lissitzky-Straße 1, 64287 Darmstadt, Germany

Tel: +49 (0) 6151 16 22439

e-mail: urbanmorphosislab@gmail.com