Towards sustainable diversity in the city of Bratislava
(Matej Bel University)
Daniel Luther (Slovak Academy of Sciences)
Paper short abstract:
The case study of the city of Bratislava focuses on two selected indicators relevant to sustainable diversity in the post-socialist city: urban public space and civic participation in the governance of the city.
Paper long abstract:
The paper deals with questions of sustainable social and cultural diversity in the city of Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. It compares two historic periods of state socialism and post-socialism and is based on the hypothesis that urban life differed significantly in the two periods and was influenced by two dominant features: politically forced order, discipline and uniformity leading to homogeneity in the period of the communist rule; and "freedom" and individualism following the collapse of the totalitarian rule in the first period of post-socialist transition, connected with uncertainty, chaos and growth of heterogeneity and diversity in all spheres of life. Transformation of the society went along with two competitive processes - globalism and localism that have also had an impact on the new diversified look of the city. The case study of the city of Bratislava focuses on two selected indicators relevant to sustainable diversity in the post-socialist city that showed dramatic changes in the last decade: urban public space and civic participation in the governance of the city. The study does not focus on urban populations´s diversity in the sense of ethnic, racial or religious diversity of immigrant groups because the scale of this diversity is still not large enough to make a broader analysis about it. The main attention is put on elements related to broader diversity that includes various social, cultural or marginalised groups of population and changing strategies, practices, mechanisms, values and attitudes in a transition society. The analysis is built on mostly qualitative data collected from the city council documents, local newspapers, reports of governmental and non-governmental organisations and a long-term ethnographic research based on participant observation and interviews.
Sustainable cultural diversities in Europe