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

Accelerated urbanisation conjoined with rapid industrialisation during the Socialist regimes continue to evolve along different routes in different countries, depending on their specific contexts and stages of transition. In terms of urban development, these differences are distinctly visible in the urban landscape, which transforms according to the orders of post-socialist political agendas. Culture and tourism play a key role in the urban transformation process by shifting the debate from the ideological and macroeconomic role of urbanisation to everyday practices and experiences in urban environments.

Within this context, this session aims to explore questions of culture-driven tourism development and its impacts, both positive and negative on post-socialist cities. Accordingly, we welcome papers from different disciplines (anthropology, history, sociology, urban geography etc.) regarding (but not restricted to) the following domains:

  • Urban identity

  • Urban uses and public space

  • Heritage conservation

  • Creative industries

  • Tourism and visitor experiences

Furthermore, the session also aims to offer alternative perspectives and multidisciplinary understandings for both broader aspects as well as for more specialised issues of concern in post-socialist transition. We therefore encourage reflections on the themes such as:

  • Processes of commodification of culture and heritage in creating new urban identities

  • Issues of representation, image and changing identity

  • Conceptions of memory and “value” of socialist legacy

  • Reconstruction of public space in post-socialist cities

  • Socio-spatial impact of market-led flagship urban renewal projects and place branding strategies

  • Processes of strategic spatial planning and participatory governance

  • Issues of inclusive design and accessibility connected to adaptive reuse

  • Creative industries and cultural spaces for sustainable tourism

  • Impacts of globalisation and digitisation and tourism demand on tourism development

  • Current issues and future perspectives for potential development of culture-led tourism


Session chairs:


Dr. Lauren Ugur, Heilbronn University of Applied Sciences, Heilbronn, Germany;

Dr. Lauren Uğur is an urban development and management expert. Her research focuses on the realisation of integrated planning processes for the promotion of inclusive social and economic development. Currently, she holds a professorship for international tourism management at the Heilbronn University of Applied Science. Her most recent project has begun to unpack the economic, spatial and institutional complexities involved in the development of a resident-focused indicator set for inclusive local tourism development, starting with a case study on the City of Cape Town, South Africa.  


Dr. Evinc Dogan, Akdeniz University, Antalya, Turkey;  

Dr. Evinç Doğan is a lecturer at Akdeniz University, Turkey. She holds PhD in Management and Development of Cultural Heritage from IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca (Italy). She edited a book titled “Reinventing Eastern Europe – Imaginaries, Identities and Transformations”, currently in press by Transnational Press London. Her research interests include urban transformation, city branding, visual culture, cultural heritage and tourism.

© 2018 urbanmorphosislab

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