Whose balcony is it? Thermal rehabilitation of apartment buildings and ownership conflicts in Bucharest
Bogdan Iancu (National School of Political Studies and Public Administration Bucharest / Museum of Romanian Peasant )
Paper short abstract:
This paper will illustrate the configuration of the thermal rehabilitation of (post)socialist blocks of flats in Bucharest simultaneously viewed as a desirable home experience, and as an invasive and contested practice.
Paper long abstract:
After Romania's accession to EU, the state designed a national strategy for saving energy politics was designed, focused on the thermal rehabilitation of apartment buildings. The residential experience in insulated apartment buildings becomes the desired standard for most households. The obligation to accept the free-of-charge closing off of balconies in order to achieve the perfect insulation of the entire ecosystem of which the apartments are a part of seems a peculiarity for citizens who lived during socialism, when this type of intervention in the domestic space was forbidden. This paper will illustrate the configuration of the thermal rehabilitation of (post)socialist blocks of flats in Bucharest simultaneously viewed as a desirable home experience, and as an invasive and contested practice. I will describe the experiences of some of my informants who expressed complaints about the unwanted and disturbing interventions in their balconies' material universe and the subsequent emergence of new practices and uses. Based on ethnographic fieldwork and interview data, I will focus the property regime of rehabilitation, as revealed by the conflicts between rehabilitation companies and local households.