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Accepted Paper:

The (Un)wanted Future(s) of a Former Post-Industrial Landscape  
Martin Dolský (Charles University)

Paper short abstract:

The paper focuses on a recently built housing estate, a radical socio-material transformation of a former post-industrial landscape of Prague. It traces the conflicting narratives of the place’s heritage and imagined future(s) and examines its divergent understandings and multilayered meanings.

Paper long abstract:

An unkempt, ugly, and dangerous brownfield in need of renewal or a calm inspirational landscape of nostalgia for the disappearing past? The value and heritage of Prague’s former industrial docks site are contested. The divergent understandings of the place’s past shape how various actors view the development of a new prestigious gated-community housing estate and the future possibilities of (un)commonness it represents.

It is all too clear the new development has marked a radical socio-economic metamorphosis of the place. But has the transformation created a new bright future for a formerly wasted landscape, or has it ruthlessly tried to erase the place’s postindustrial history? For some, the new development materializes hope for a better, safer, and richer future. For others, its fences and well-kept parks produce anger, anxiety, and fear of displacement. What are the points of departure of these conflicting moral claims? Should the postindustrial heritage be preserved or done away with? Who decides and what informs their decision?

This case study attempts to trace how conflicting understandings and practices surrounding the recent transformation come into being and are negotiated and to map out their broader social, economic, political, and historical contexts. The aim is to develop a complex, layered understanding of the place’s current meaning(s), its projected past(s), and its imagined future(s), as well as to better understand the structural context behind its (re)production.

Panel P061b
(Un-)wanted Alternatives? Negotiating Heritage in Postindustrial Environments II
  Session 1 Friday 29 July, 2022, -